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The Sunlit Night 

click to enlarge ON AN ADVENTURE A struggling New York artist, Frances (Jenny Slate), takes an apprenticeship with a famous Norwegian artist to create a barn installation, along the way meeting a cast of odd characters, in The Sunlit Night, screening on Hulu. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BEACHSIDE FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Beachside Films
  • ON AN ADVENTURE A struggling New York artist, Frances (Jenny Slate), takes an apprenticeship with a famous Norwegian artist to create a barn installation, along the way meeting a cast of odd characters, in The Sunlit Night, screening on Hulu.

What's it rated? R

When? 2019

Where's it showing? HULU

David Wnendt directs Rebecca Dinerstein's screenplay based on her novel about Frances (Jenny Slate), an aspiring painter who takes a job helping Nils (Fridtjov Såheim), a famous artist, create a barn installation in Norway.

Frances is tired of her everyday life. Her parents are separating, and they're all stuck together in a cramped New York apartment. Her art professors find her work uninspiring, and she can't seem to catch a break, so when this apprenticeship with Nils pops up, she has no reason to say no.

Set in the beautiful countryside of Norway just past the Viking reenactment camp, Nils' project seems simple enough—paint a barn in various shades of yellow. Frances tries to connect with the accomplished artist, but his reception is pretty cold, and he's only interested in work from sunup to sundown. He's not a conversationalist. She also meets Nasha (Alex Sharp), who soon becomes her romantic lead, and Haldor (Zach Galifianakis), the self-appointed lead of the Viking group and overall odd dude.

It's endearing and warm, and while it doesn't have a whole lot of story to tell, Slate is charming and subtle. She makes friends with a goat and tries to warm Nils' cold persona with her natural humor and quick wit. It's hit or miss ratings wise, but I enjoyed this little film with a lot of heart. (106 min.) Δ

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