RAMS: Icelandic knitwear envy

RAMS_1Sheet_NZ.jpegPalace Films latest release is RAMS, a beautifully shot story about 2 brothers raising sheep in an isolated Icelandic village. This movie got a ten minute standing ovation at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and has won a swathe of awards since. It has been sold to 40 territories and opens in New Zealand on August 4th.

Its a clever movie, well worth seeing on the big screen.

RAMS is loosely based on a true story about 2 stubborn brothers who lived side-by-side and didn’t speak for 40 years. This provides lots of dry comedy – these bros compete in local sheep competitions without speaking, messages are delivered via the dog, when one brother is passed out drunk in the snow the other scoops him up with his tractor and drives him to hospital so he doesn’t freeze to death.

RAMS is funny and bleak at the same time, adhering perfectly to arthouse indie guidelines. The story runs the full emotional spectrum – be warned (no spoilers here).


Movie buddy and I were entranced at the scenery – the movie was shot in Budardalur in the North West of Iceland.


The interiors were stylized in beautiful 1970s decor – sparse and faithful to the colour palette – very cool.


Movie buddy and I became victims of extreme jumper envy. If you know where I can buy jumpers like these please tell me. The beards and raggy hair were great too.


We couldn’t  agree on the end though, whether it was uplifting or bleak. Will leave that one up to you.

And of the sheep? Director Grímur Hákonarson says:

“After a lot of searching we ended up at a farm called Halldórsstaðir where Begga, the farmer there, treats her sheep with love and affection. The rams there came right over to us and gave us a nudge as if they wanted a little scratch behind the ears. These sheep were great to work with, in fact even easier than working with actors.

And each sheep gets an actor credit.



The film was made for €1.75m. Bravo team.


  • WINNER Cannes International Film Festival 2015, Un Certain Regard
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION Telluride International Film Festival 2015
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION Toronto International Film Festival 2015
  • WINNER Zurich International Film Festival 2015, Best International Feature Film
  • NOMINEE Icelandic Academy Awards 2016, Best Film, Best Director (Hákonarson), Best Actor (Sigurjónsson), Best Supporting Actor (Júlíusson), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION (ICELAND) Academy Awards 2016, Best Foreign Language Film



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