The Sunlit Night tells the story of Frances (Jenny Slate). Her painting career is going badly. Her parents are divorcing. Her boyfriend dumped her. The logical choice is to go to Norway to help a famous artist paint a barn using only the color yellow. This 2019 film is streaming on Hulu.
The Sunlit Night had several good points, but my favorite part of it was how wowed Frances was by Norway. Everything about it was so beautiful, so awesome, it dazzled. It didn’t hurt that the sun never went down.
The famous artist Nils (Fridtjov Såheim) didn’t have much to say. He installed Frances in a small travel trailer, told her to paint exactly what he had laid out in a complex drawing, and expected her to work from 7 am to 7 pm.
Frances did work, but she also wandered off a lot. She went to a camp where people recreated Viking life.
At the Viking camp, she met Haldor (Zach Galifianakis). She wandered into the small town grocery store where she met Fridge Girl (Luise Nes). Fridge Girl restarted Frances’ creative juices and helped her paint again.
She met Yasha (Alex Sharp) who had come to Norway to give his father a Viking funeral.
You would think with Jenny Slate and Zach Galifianakis in a movie, these two would provide the comic relief. You would be wrong.
The humor came from Gillian Anderson as Yasha’s mother. Somehow, with almost no lines and a bad wig, Gillian Anderson managed to be the most comedic light in every scene.
Everything in this film is about creating beauty or admiring beauty. The cinematography reflected that. A sex scene between Frances and Yasha in the barn was a work of art in itself – a painting in motion. If you watch it, keep in mind that blue is the complementary color for yellow.
I really liked that both Frances and the viewers don’t really get what the yellow barn was all about until the last minute.
This film, written by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight, probably won’t win a lot of prizes for being the best of anything. But I really enjoyed it. Jenny Slate made Frances real and alive, and the scenery was gorgeous.
Here’s the trailer.
Have you seen this one? What did you think of it?