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Discover the Majestic Beauty of Iceland in ‘Northern Lights’

Northern Lights: An Icelandic Adventure

If you’re looking for a movie that combines stunning scenery, heartwarming emotions, and unexpected surprises, then Northern Lights is the one for you. This 2009 romantic comedy-drama, directed by John Henry Davis, takes viewers on a journey to the majestic landscapes of Iceland, where a city girl and a country boy cross paths, leading them to discover more about themselves and each other.Tragedy Strikes

The story starts with a tragic loss that leaves the protagonist, Nate Burns (played by Eddie Cibrian), devastated and heartbroken.

Nate, a successful New York City businessman, loses his father in a shark attack while on a trip to Iceland. Nate decides to take a break from his hectic life and travel to Iceland to retrieve his father’s ashes and close this chapter in his life.

Arrival in Iceland

Upon arrival, he discovers that his father’s estate has been left to a family he has never met before, including his father’s distant cousin, Ptur (played by Jhannes Haukur Jhannesson), who runs a struggling sheep farm in the remote countryside of Iceland. Nate is determined to sell the land and get back to his comfortable city life as soon as possible, but fate has different plans for him.

Unexpected Connections

Through a series of comical misadventures, Nate meets a local girl named Miranda (played by LeAnn Rimes) who owns a dog sled tour company. She’s tough, independent, and not impressed by Nate’s city-boy demeanor.

However, their budding relationship is cut short when Nate discovers that his father’s will stipulates that he has to spend two weeks on the sheep farm with Petur and make a genuine effort to connect with him.

Culture Shock

At first, Nate struggles to adapt to the harsh Icelandic weather, rustic living conditions, and unfamiliar way of life. Meanwhile, he learns about Petur’s family history, their deep connection to the land, and the challenges they face in keeping the farm running.

Slowly but surely, Nate begins to bond with Petur and the other locals, and gradually becomes more relaxed and open-minded.

Romance in the Air

As Nate becomes more attuned to life in the countryside, he also finds himself drawn to Miranda, who challenges him in ways he has never experienced before. Miranda teaches Nate how to dog sled, climb glaciers, and appreciate the beauty of the Northern Lights.

Their relationship deepens, and they share several romantic moments exploring the Icelandic wilderness together.

Plot Twists and Surprising Revelations

Just when we think we know where the story is heading, interesting plot twists and revelations keep things exciting and unpredictable. Without giving away too much, we will say that the story takes a couple of turns that keep viewers engaged until the very end.


In conclusion, Northern Lights is a beautiful and touching movie that explores themes of loss, love, connection, and self-discovery. The stunning Icelandic landscapes provide a visually stunning backdrop for this heartwarming story.

Whether you’re a fan of romantic comedies, drama, or travel movies, Northern Lights is sure to capture your heart. When Nate arrives in Iceland, he has no idea what he’s in for.

He’s a Manhattan businessman, used to the hustle and bustle of the city, while Iceland is a remote, foreign country that is seemingly light-years away from his normal life. In many ways, Northern Lights is a fish-out-of-water story, as Nate struggles to adjust to his new surroundings.

Early on in the film, it becomes clear that Nate is a man who is used to getting what he wants, when he wants it. He tries to take control of the situation by demanding that Ptur sells him the farm, but he’s met with a stubborn refusal.

It’s clear that things are going to get difficult for Nate, and that he’s not going to be able to just walk away from his responsibilities. This is a classic setup for any good character arc – the protagonist is thrown into an unfamiliar situation, forced to adapt and grow as they face unexpected challenges.

One of the primary themes of Northern Lights is the idea of home. Nate’s father left Iceland when he was young, and never returned.

Nate himself has never been to Iceland before. Ptur’s family, on the other hand, has lived on the same land for generations.

They have a deep, abiding connection to the land that Nate can’t understand. Even Miranda, who is an outsider like Nate, feels a sense of belonging in Iceland that he can’t quite get his head around.

As the days go on, Nate starts to embrace his new surroundings. He learns to milk cows, chop wood, and dig trenches.

He even begins to appreciate the beauty of the Icelandic landscape. In short, he starts to feel like he belongs there.

This is a crucial moment in any character arc. Nate is no longer fighting against his new reality, he’s embracing it.

He’s no longer the same man he was at the beginning of the movie. The romance between Nate and Miranda is also a key part of the story.

At first, Nate is brusque with her. He’s used to women who are impressed by his wealth and status, not someone who challenges him like she does.

But as they spend more time together, Nate begins to see the appeal of Miranda’s no-nonsense attitude. He also starts to understand that she’s hurting in her own way.

Her dog-sledding business is struggling, and she’s worried about losing everything. As he learns more about her, he begins to see that she’s not just some tough girl with a chip on her shoulder – she’s someone who cares deeply about her community and her family.

The final act of the film is where everything comes together. Nate has bonded with Ptur, learned to love the land, and fallen for Miranda.

But there are still obstacles in their way. Nate has to figure out what he really wants in life – is it the corporate rat race, or a simpler existence in Iceland?

Miranda has to decide whether she’s willing to take a chance on a guy who’s not used to living outside his comfort zone. And Ptur’s livelihood is still in danger.

These conflicts create tension and drama that keeps the audience engaged until the final moments of the film. In the end, Northern Lights is a story about growth and change.

Nate comes to Iceland with one idea of who he is, but he leaves with a very different perspective. By immersing himself in a new culture, he’s able to see the world in a different way.

He learns that there is beauty in simplicity, and that sometimes the things we think we want aren’t really what we need. It’s a message that resonates with many people, regardless of their background.

Whether you’re a businessman from Manhattan or a farmer from Iceland, Northern Lights has something to offer. Northern Lights is a visually stunning film that captures the rugged beauty of the Icelandic landscape in spectacular fashion.

The film’s production team made great efforts to showcase the country’s unique culture and scenery, creating a work of art that is both visually appealing and emotionally resonant. Here are some of the ways in which the production helped bring the story to life.

Cinematography and Location

Iceland is a unique and beautiful country, with landscapes unlike any other place on earth. To fully capture the majesty of this environment, Northern Lights was shot entirely on location in Iceland.

This allowed the film’s cinematographer, David Geddes, to capture the country’s natural beauty in its full splendor. The filmmakers also wisely chose to shoot during the winter, when Iceland’s famous Northern Lights are at their brightest.

The cinematography in Northern Lights is truly breathtaking. The sweeping landscapes of Iceland are captured with stunning detail, from the rugged coastline to the icy glaciers.

Recording during the winter months also allowed for some truly unique shots, such as the scene when Nate chases after Miranda’s sled through a field of snow-covered lava rocks. These shots help transport the viewer to a place that they might otherwise never be able to experience.

Music and Sound

The score of Northern Lights was composed by Ed Smart, who created a soundtrack that perfectly captures the emotion and spirit of the film. One standout moment is when Nate and Miranda dance together under the Northern Lights, with a hauntingly beautiful melody playing in the background.

The music helps to create a sense of awe and wonder, heightening the sense of magic and romance that pervades the film. Sound design is also important in Northern Lights.

The howl of the wind, the creaking of ice, and the crackling of a campfire all contribute to the immersive experience of being in Iceland. The sound design also plays an important role in creating tension and drama, such as when Nate and Miranda are caught in a blizzard while out on a sled ride.

Production Design

The production design of Northern Lights is top-notch, with attention paid to the smallest details. The interior shots of Ptur’s farmhouse feel authentic and lived-in, with touches like a pot hanging over the stove and a basket of knitting in the living room.

The sets help to create a sense of place, making the viewer feel as though they too are sitting by the fire, sipping hot cocoa and listening to stories.

Costume Design

The costumes in Northern Lights are another important element of the film’s production design. The film’s costume designer, Jolle Laffont, was tasked with creating outfits that were both functional and visually appealing.

Miranda’s dog-sledding gear, for example, is both practical and stylish, with a pop of bright red color that stands out against the snowy landscape. Nate’s transition from a slick city businessman to a rugged outdoorsman is also reflected in his clothing, as he sheds his suit and tie in favor of warmer, sturdier garments.

In summary, while Northern Lights is a compelling story at its core, but it is elevated to a masterpiece by the production team the filmmakers assembled. The visuals, music, sound, and costume design all contribute to creating a cohesive and immersive experience for the viewer, making it an unforgettable journey into the heart of Iceland.

The film is a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of attention to detail in filmmaking. After its completion in 2009, Northern Lights premiered on the Hallmark Channel to critical acclaim, winning over audiences with its beautiful visuals, compelling story, and heartfelt performances.

Following its initial release, the film was also made available on DVD and through various streaming platforms, reaching an even wider audience across the world.


Despite being a made-for-TV movie, Northern Lights received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes both received praise for their performances, with critics noting their chemistry and the authenticity of their portrayals.

The film’s depiction of Iceland and its unique culture also garnered attention, with many viewers expressing a newfound appreciation for the country’s rugged beauty and fascinating history. Given its success, it’s no surprise that Northern Lights went on to win several awards and nominations.

These included a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or Special, and a win for Best Music in a Motion Picture Made for Television at the 2010 BMI Film/TV Awards.


Northern Lights has since become a beloved classic in the romantic drama genre, inspiring trips to Iceland for tourists who fell in love with the stunning landscapes featured in the film. It has also helped to raise the profile of the country’s film industry, shining a spotlight on the incredible talent and unique perspectives being produced there.

The film’s success has also benefited its cast and crew. Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes both went on to successful acting and music careers, respectively.

Director John Henry Davis has continued to work in film and television, directing episodes of popular shows such as Elementary and The Blacklist. Northern Lights has also become somewhat of a cultural touchstone, with its name inspiring various other works of art.

This includes the novel Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, which has since been made into a successful TV series on HBO, as well as the album Northern Lights – Southern Cross by The Band, which features a title track inspired by the natural phenomenon.


In conclusion, Northern Lights is a film that was released to critical acclaim and won over audiences with its stunning visuals, compelling story, and heartfelt performances. Its impact has been felt beyond its initial release, inspiring trips to Iceland, raising the profile of the country’s film industry, and inspiring other works of art.

Despite being a made-for-TV movie, Northern Lights has become a beloved classic in the romantic drama genre and continues to capture the hearts of viewers across the world. The score of the romantic drama film Northern Lights is a pivotal aspect of the movie’s overall feel and atmosphere.

Composed by Ed Smart, the cinematic soundtrack of the film is a collection of original pieces that weave seamlessly into the emotional fabric of the movie, heightening its romantic sentiments and serving as an effective reminder of the Icelandic landscape’s grandeur. Given the movie’s overarching theme of love and loss, the music takes center stage to strike an emotional chord with the viewer.

The musical score of Northern Lights is a cohesive blend of dramatic orchestration, traditional Icelandic choral hymns, and delicate piano melodies, reflecting the film’s dynamic range of emotions. The signature melody of the movie is a piece which plays in the scene where Nate and Miranda share their incredible moment under the Northern Lights.

The song is a hauntingly beautiful melody, imbued with a sense of adventure, mystery, and romance that perfectly complements the majestic scene unfolding on the screen. The soothing melodies of the piano transport the audience to the breathtaking vistas of Iceland, and the accompanying strings and horns deliver all the necessary emotions expected of a soundtrack in a romantic movie.

One of the other tracks in the movie is a theme that emphasizes the sense of exploration and discovery. The music highlights Nate’s character arc from a successful yet mundane routine runner in New York City to a person finally taste the true emotion of life in the Icelandic wilderness.

The bold orchestration and driving rhythm reflect the thrill of newfound adventures and the promise of newfound love. The soulful Icelandic hymns used in the movie, especially during the scenes that showcase the Icelandic culture’s depth, add authenticity to the storyline.

The music, which is completely original but possesses traditional elements of Iceland, helps create a rich cultural tapestry that complements the scenic landscape’s visuals. Additionally, the music features unique instrumentation such as the haunting vocals of the Icelandic men’s choir, the deep, mournful sounds of the traditional Icelandic fiddle, and the dramatic organ score, which lend a unique flavor and nuance to the soundtrack.

The final moments of the film are rooted in a moment of intense suspense, and the score contributes significantly to the emotional impact of those moments. The haunting piano melody, the astonishing strings, and the epic horns all work together to create a score that builds the tension and excitement leading up to the climax and eventual resolution.

Overall, Northern Lights’ musical score provides an emotive and atmospheric backing to the film. The music’s varied nuances and tones take the audience on a journey through Iceland’s breathtaking wilderness, each beat crescendoing with every emotional moment of the movie.

The use of organic and natural instrumentation is perfectly harmonized in a way that makes the movie’s moments emotionally impactful. The film’s music is a testament to the vital role it plays in establishing the story’s essence, conveying the settings’ and characters’ emotions and personalities.

With such a standout musical score at the center of the Northern Lights’ heart, it is no wonder that the film has been so widely and universally acclaimed. In conclusion, Northern Lights is a stunning romantic drama that captures the heart and soul of Iceland’s beautiful landscape.

The film’s themes of love, loss, adventure, and discovery are reflected in the production’s carefully crafted visuals, music, and acting performances, making it a timeless classic. The movie has an enduring appeal, inspiring works of art, and stirring a sense of adventure among those who see it even years after the initial release.

Below are the key FAQs addressing common questions about the film:


1. Is Northern Lights based on a true story?

– No, it is a fictional story set in Iceland.


Who is the director of Northern Lights? – The film is directed by John Henry Davis.

3. When was Northern Lights released?

– The movie was released in 2009.


Who stars in Northern Lights? – Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes play the lead roles in the film.

5. Is Northern Lights available on DVD or streaming services?

– Yes, the movie is available on DVD and various online streaming platforms.

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