Wide Blue Yonder is a light hearted black comedy not with out charm. A British-Norwegian co-operation, with English dialog all through, and star power de luxe.
And old sea man without any family left, Skip, has just passed away on the old peoples home, where we also find his friends with his Scottish born buddy Wally (Brian Cox) as a front runner. Wally has promised his old friend a proper sea mans' burial out at sea, something the attendant of the home won't allow. He gather his friends in a cunning plan to get Skip buried out in the wet North Sea, instead of in the cold ground.
The cast consist of well known actors and comedians Brian Fox, Lauren Bacall, James Fox, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Kåre Conradi, Nicholas Hope, Robert Skjærstad, Hege Schøyen, Elsa Lystad, Ane Rygh an so on, as well as additional cameos of comedians like "the Norwegian Rowan Atkinson" Øyvind Blunck.
What a cast! And they all do their job, though I think the comical timing would have helped with some Norwegian dialog as well, this being a story filmed in the western Norwegian town of Haugesund. (Where the Norwegian International Film Festival is held in September every year. This film was of course picked out for the program in 2012.) Yeah, in 2012, two years after it was finished, because this film production came in severe problems both financially and due to fights with the actors unions. Due to the financial crisis, one of the production companies went bankrupt, and the film was finally saved by distributor Europa Film and the Norwegian investor Ola Sandvold, which actually was an extra in this film. He reached down his pockets to fulfill the last economical barriers.
Filming was done i 2007. The release was delayed for almost five years, and maybe also therefore, this film was only released in UK, Norway and USA, all quite limited releases. It was also shown at the Cannes Film Festival and FilmFest Emden.
At the premiere, the films' problems was more interesting to the media than the actual film, and critics gave mostly thumbs down. So is it a bad movie?
No it isn't. Still the film is annoyingly enough blemished with a bad poster, bad music in a not very well suited classic music score, like the film is filmed out in the open ocean, and some of the comical timing is lost in Norwegians trying to talk English with their best accents. When this is noted, it's quite a charming little film. It's always a pleasure to see these actors giving of their best. Not a master piece by far, but still a pleasant watch a Sunday afternoon. The film gets more funnier the longer it lasts, and is more charming than black.
The film gives homages to well known films like Superman and Four Weddings... as well as putting Øyvind Blunck as priest. You remember Atkinson in that role?
The film could be seen for free online at the film's official website for some time, but it's taken down now.