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Noir has never been as neon as it is in Stella Blómkvist, the 2018 Edda Awards nominee for Television Show of the Year, which will screen in the US on Sundance Now.

Stella Blómkvist
Heida Reed as Stella Blómkvist — Photo: Sagafilm, Red Arrow International

Judging by the official trailer, Stella Blómkvist, based on the best-selling Icelandic crime novels by pseudonymous author Stella Blómkvist, is more stylized neo-noir than the traditional Nordic noir we’re accustomed to. This is not a bad thing, as indicated by the show’s high viewing figures in Iceland. (To wit: The first episode of Stella Blómkvist garnered a larger share than the previous record holder, Emmy® winner A Handmaid’s Tale.)

Heida Reed (Poldark, The Lava Field), Edda nominee for Actress of the Year, stars as Stella Blómkvist, a smart, hard-nosed femme fatale of a lawyer with a dark past, a taste for whiskey, and a habit of taking on cases that lead her into danger, and whose morals are as flexible as her sexuality.

The first of Season 1’s three stories is “The Murder in the Ministry,” in which Stella takes the case of a former client — a young man now accused of murdering a young woman who was an assistant to the Prime Minister of Iceland. Because he was found standing over the victim’s body covered in blood, the police are convinced this is an open-and-shut case; to Blómkvist, not so much. Soon after she begins her investigation to find out what really happened, Stella finds herself getting entangled in a political conspiracy and facing powerful, corrupt individuals who will do what needs must to keep their secrets hidden.

In “Murder at Swanlake,” Blómkvist is hired to defend the niece of an influential investor after the latter is found dead in her family home and the former is charged with her murder. And in “Murder at Harpa,” Stella must clear her name and avoid being arrested (or worse) after she is targeted by a Chinese intelligence agent trying to get his mitts on the classified information in her possession.

A production of Sagafilm in association with Red Arrow International, the series costars Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir (Cover Story), Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir (Prisoners), and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson (The Court). Óskar Thór Axelsson (Trapped) directs all six episodes.

Stella Blómkvist premieres in the US on Thursday, January 31, on Sundance Now and the Sundance Now channel on Amazon.


Sundance Now Channel on Amazon

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Stella Blómkvist: Icelandic Crime Thriller Starring Heida Reed Coming to the US
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