Penthouse North follows the aging Swedish supermodel Agneta Eckemyr as she loses her rent controlled apartment in Manhattan. Once a model, actress, and fashion designer, it seems that Agneta’s best days are behind her. Despite her own efforts to make rent along with financial help from her friends, Agneta is being evicted from the home she’s lived in for decades.
This is like Grey Gardens meets Norma Desmond. Agneta is a sad figure, relatively detached from reality and how the world works. She adorned magazine covers in her prime, and sold vintage clothing before vintage clothing was a thing, but now, she is alone, broke, and growing old. All of her plans to make money fail, and her friends begin to lose energy.
Director Johanna St Michaels observes Agneta in her daily struggle and one can’t help but feel sympathy for her. It is a cold world out there, and watching Agneta really brings forth issues about aging. If this can happen to Agneta, this certainly happens to thousands and thousands of others.
Parts of this film are fun and entertaining – Agneta is a larger than life, endearing character. But in the end, it is a very dark and heartbreaking documentary about denial and change.