Hour of the Lynx Sofie Gråbøl

The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl swaps her iconic jumper for a priest’s collar in claustrophobic psychological drama The Hour of the Lynx, which delivers an intriguing variation on the usual Scandi crime formula.

Gråbøl’s pastor is grappling with doubts about her vocation when she gets an invitation to visit a high security psychiatric unit and speak to a troubled young inmate (Frederik Johansen) who has attempted suicide. Locked up for committing a violent double murder, the patient has been sharing his cell with a cat as part of a behavioural experiment run by Signe Egholm Olsen’s psychiatrist. Can Gråbøl’s priest break through to the disturbed young man before the project is shut down?

The overuse of flashbacks is a little frustrating, but as the film slowly reveals its secrets – including the meaning of the enigmatic title – the slow-burning narrative becomes more compelling. Incidentally, the Swedish play on which the film is based was previously adapted for TV in 1991 with Sylvestra Le Touzel, Simon David and Eleanor Bron in the leading roles.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 89 mins. Director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen

The Hour of the Lynx is showing on Sky Cinema Premiere from Wednesday 31 August and is available on DVD from Arrow Films.