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Sigurdsson’s black comedy originally debuted at the Venice Film Festival, his previous release Either Way was remade by David Gordon Green into Prince Avalanche. Under the Tree is considered a much darker turn for the Icelandic Director, brining together family drama and black comedy, which includes two popular local comedians (Steindi Jr and Edda Bjorndøttir) among the cast, taking on against-type dramatic roles.
When Atli has to move home to his parents he realises they are in a bitter dispute with their younger neighbours over a tree shared by both houses. One side sees it as a beautiful plece of nature; the other, an annoying obstruction to sunbathing. What follows is an acute social drama, alive to the hilarious pettiness of any two sides unwilling to back down.
There is a human touch brought to the unlikeable characters, awkward observational humour is never far from hand in this memorably mordant film