“So tell me, you’re the lawyer girl?”

“No, it’s pronounced Stella Blomkvist”

A mix between classic Nordic crime and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Stella Blomkvist is a refreshing crime series from Iceland that seems to breathe new life into the genre. Set in a high-paced, brightly coloured and occasionally funny world, this crime series is sure to be a hit internationally.

The femme fatale lawyer is Stella Blomkvist, who is based on a character in a series of novels written by the mysterious author of the same name. In the first two episodes, Stella is pushed back from a case revolving around the death of a young woman. At first, she is assigned to provide legal services for a young drug dealer accused of committing the crime, but when she refuses to play along with the demands to push him into a guilty plea, she is cast aside and abandoned from the case. Determined, Stella takes it into her hands and begins conducting her own investigation along with the help of her landlord, who is a unique and quirky shut in who makes a living selling obscure cat-themed products on eBay.

Stella Blomkvist is a fast-paced, almost US-style series that feels fresh and exciting. So far it hasn’t had a wide international release, but received a lot of praise in Iceland and hopefully audiences around the world will be able to see it this year. It is wonderfully styled and put together, and it seems a lot of fun was had in post-production. The electronica soundtrack keeps a beat throughout each episode, and the neon visual style gives it a flair of film noir that feels like such a breath of fresh air compared to other Nordic crime series. Furthermore, Heida Reed fully embraces Stella, providing a sharp narration and wonderful acting that makes this an easy show to watch. The miniseries is comprised of six episodes, with every two episodes being its own crime story. There’s no drawn-out crime over one season that involves a lot of guesswork and doesn’t reveal the killer until the last episode.

This review is in the March issue of Cinema Scandinavia. 

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CategoriesIssue 22 Reviews
Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.