Review: ‘In the Shoes of the Dragon’

The be-careful-what-you-wish-for principal is amply illustrated by "In the Shoes of the Dragon," about aspiring filmmaker Hronn Sveinsdottir's entry in the Miss Iceland contest. Initially viewing her participation as a semi-prankish way to expose the presumed vacuity of such beauty pageants, Sveinsdottir instead turns into a serious, even bratty competitor. Resulting self-scrutiny is not pretty. Rough-hewn docu could use some trimming, but has potential as an offshore broadcast pickup. </B>

The be-careful-what-you-wish-for principal is amply illustrated by “In the Shoes of the Dragon,” about aspiring filmmaker Hronn Sveinsdottir’s entry in the Miss Iceland contest. Initially viewing her participation as a semi-prankish way to expose the presumed vacuity of such beauty pageants, Sveinsdottir instead turns into a serious, even bratty competitor. Resulting self-scrutiny is not pretty. Rough-hewn docu could use some trimming, but has potential as an offshore broadcast pickup.

At outset, protag is a tomboyish 22-year-old who’s never worn high heels, smokes two packs a day, drinks “like a fish,” disdains exercise and echoes mom’s statement that such contests are “like a cattle show.” Nonetheless, it doesn’t take much fussing about before she looks like a viable beauty queen. She survives preliminaries and begins the training (fitness, deportment) as well as the media aspects of the contest — a big deal here since, despite its tiny populace, Iceland has thrice won the Miss World title. But external pressure, personal ambivalence and a surprising new aggressive streak soon turn Hronn into a temperamental, sometimes self-sabotaging mini-diva. Seriocomic tale holds attention, though its second half could be tightened.

In the Shoes of the Dragon

Iceland

Production

A Hassen Film and 20 Geitur production. Produced by Bovar Bjarki Petursson. Directed by Hronn Sveinsdottir, Arni Sveinsson.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Sigrun Hermannsdottir, Sveinsdottir, Sveinsson; editors, Steinfior Birgisson, Sveinsson, Larus Oskarsson. Reviewed at San Francisco Doc Fest, May 16, 2004. Running time: 93 min.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading