D: Noomi Rapace, Ola Rapace, Outi Mäenpää, Ville Virtanen, Tehilla Blad
R: Prenilla August
Release: 10 December 2010
Durată: 1h 35 min
Noomi Rapace stars in another Swedish drama about a young girl growing up in a dysfunctional family. Based on the novel of Susanna Alakoski, the film opens with Leena sleeping with her husband, Johan (Ola Rapace, Noomi’s husband in real life too) and their daughters coming in with breakfast. It’s the image of a very happy, loving family. Leena receives a phone call from her mother who is now hospitalized. She hangs up but the phone keeps ringing. The woman on the other side says that her mother is going to die and that she asked to see Leena. Although she is trying to deny everything and doesn’t want to go see her mother, Johan takes care of everything and prepares the girls for the road trip. The real story begins when Leena starts to remember everything she’s been through. Her parents being alcoholics, her brother not wanting to eat anything and her swimming competitions. “There were good times”, as her mother recalls, but all the fights made them insignificant.
Ville Virtanen is Kimmo, Leena’s father, a Finnish man who hasn’t been able to adapt to the Swedish society. He has no job, no money, no friends. This may be the reason why he always hides in huge amounts of alcohol. He stops taking care of his family, he begins beating his wife, Aili. Played by Outi Mäenpää, Aili is apparently a very strong woman, a woman who, at first, bosses her husband around as he kisses her ass repetedly. But when it comes to leaving him for the sake of the family, she’s the weakest. You would think Sakari plays a small role, but I think he is the center of the drama. A child who has no power whatsoever, who just sits there and watches silently while his parents have a fight session will never be the same again. He is the main effect of all their actions. “An accident”, Aili says.
Tehilla Blad plays young Leena. It’s her second role playing Noomi as a child, after the Millenium series. She is a very good actress who can carry a lot of emotion to the audience. Along with Tehilla, her sister Alpha plays one of Leena’s daughters, and her brother Junior has been given the role of Sakari, Leena’s brother.
Director Pernilla August goes beyond any stretch of the imagination when she attaches the present to the end, which is very dramatic. Leena explodes as never before, putting on the masquarade her parents used to.
This thrilling drama deserves all our attention. It’ll make you laugh, cry and wonder why would someone accept to live like that. Although she is happily married and has a loving family, Leena has some issues herself, all repercussions from her family.
The film got 8 awards and another 5 nominations. Tehilla Blad was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, but lost to Outi Mäenpää and Pernilla August won the award for Best Direction, both at the Guldbagge Awards. Noomi won Best Actress at the Sao Paolo International Film Festival and the film won Critics’ Week Award at the Venice Film Festival.