How far would you go to find yourself? How about finding a little bit of peace and serenity? Consider northern Norway, where the sun doesn’t set for half the year? That’s where our hero goes in Rebecca Dinerstein Knight’s The Sunlit Night.
The film stars Jenny Slate as Frances, a struggling artist. The film opens with a hilariously-vicious critique of her latest piece of abstract art. Two of the critics say it could be a color wheel in a hotel lobby. The bad news is just the tip of the iceberg of Fran’s lousy luck. She recently parted ways with her longtime boyfriend, her much-coveted Tokyo art fellowship fell through, her sister is getting married, and her parents (Jessica Hecht and David Paymer) announce their separation.
“to work as an assistant for a famous artist in Norway…helping him ‘paint a barn yellow.'”
Fran finds herself lost in life, and as her world collapses around her, she needs to get out of the city. Her only option is to work as an assistant for a famous artist in Norway, Nils (Fridtjov Såheim), and helping him “paint a barn yellow.” Maybe the distance from her family and the isolation will be the spark of inspiration she needs.
In one way, it is. For the next few minutes, we’re treated to the beauty that is Norway, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Here writer/director Knight captures its natural beauty opening with a fantastic upside-down view of the sea and a view of glacial landscapes with Slate’s bright red coat in the foreground.
"…could be a color wheel in a hotel lobby."