This impressive feature debut by Camilla Strom Henriksen mixes elements of fantasy with kitchen sink drama in an inventive way.
From a young age, Jill (a mesmerising Ylva Bjorkaas Thedin) has been the responsible adult in her family, caring for her younger brother Bo, and her mentally unstable, alcoholic mother Astrid. But the news that their estranged musician father Nils will visit on Jill's birthday gives her much need light at the end of the tunnel; and when the family is struck by tragedy, she keeps it a secret.
Fearlessly charting the horror of parental substance abuse and mental illness, Phoenix is also eloquent on the pain of being forced to grow up too quickly: showing Jill as resourceful and resilient, but also touchingly desperate to hold on to her childhood.
"An extremely accomplished and memorable first feature." - Sight And Sound