Arndis Hronn Egilsdottir and Sveinn Olafur Gunnarsson in “The County.” Brynjar Snaer Thrastarson/Dekanalog

If you’ve seen the recent Oscar-winner “Nomadland,” you might recognize a little bit of Frances McDormand’s Fern in Inga, the indomitable heroine of “The County.”

Granted, Inga lives on a dairy farm in Iceland, thousands of miles away from Fern’s itinerant existence tooling around the American West in search of work. Set adrift by grief and foreshortened possibilities, Fern takes to the road; facing similar circumstances, Inga burrows into the land under her feet, taking a stand and refusing to move. But the two women share a steely sense of resolve and self-sufficiency that is bracing to behold.

Portrayed with level-eyed restraint by Arndis Hronn Egilsdottir, Inga gives “The County” its ballast and its pulse. As the movie opens, she’s helping one of her cows give birth to a calf, literally pulling the creature out with chains and sheer force of will. Later, when the farm her husband inherited comes under pressure from the local co-op, she applies the same perseverance and strength to rooting out long-standing corruption, despite the fear and disapproval of her rural neighbors.

Written and directed by Grimur Hakonarson (“Rams”), “The County” is billed as a dramedy, but there are no laugh-out-loud moments here, with the exception of Inga’s creative use of a manure spreader. (Far less amusing is Hakonarson’s on-the-nose use of clanging metallic music and sound effects whenever Inga finds herself slipping into a righteous rage.) The film is composed of long takes that make the most of Iceland’s sweeping, wide-open landscape, as well as the faces of inhabitants whose traditional way of life has changed with both automation and urban flight.

Even with some strangely perfunctory plot pivots and an abruptly unsatisfying ending, “The County” benefits from Egilsdottir’s central performance, which is both delicate and imposingly stalwart. She’s never less than sympathetic – but you wouldn’t want to be in her bad books, especially if she’s holding the keys to that manure spreader.

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