We’re all familiar with the “grumpy man reluctantly befriends innocent child” movie premise. The disgruntled, jaded adult will repel any efforts of connection from the curious youngster, until ultimately being worn down enough to hear what the child wants or needs, only to, slowly but surely realize that they actually need — and can learn from — this kid more than they want to admit. It’s often a safe bet that we learn about why they act the way they do and we are then flooded with empathy. It’s a predictable and comfortable premise that has been explored countless ways, and yet, all feel like they play it too safe. Director Ninna Pálmadóttir, however, breathes new life into a familiar premise, subverting and challenging expectations deftly with Solitude.

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