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Screenplay was adapted from a popular 1881 novel by Jens Andreas Friis. J.A. Friis was the first professor at a Norwegian university to hold a chair in Sami culture. He is widely recognized as the founder of the Sami language studies. See more »
Fascinatingly alien, a picture of life unknown, especially to Southwesterners
Magnificent scenery, including lots of snow, superior acting, and moving camera by director George Schnéevoigt all make the involved story set in the frozen wastes of Scandinavia absolutely enthralling.
Accompanied by a score (produced by the prolific Robert Israel) of piano reductions of music from Grieg, "Laila," as presented on Turner Classic Movies on 22 November 2015 -- remember we in California are hours behind most of these United States, the Eastern Time Zone of which saw it on Monday morning, 23 November -- presented a picture of a life so foreign to me, and probably most of us, that it could have been done badly and still be mesmerizing.
Frozen wastes, reindeer, strange alphabet, ravenous wolves, life lived on skis, and funny-looking hats just made "Laila" all the more intriguing.
"Laila" is as good as and often better than any Hollywood production, and I am puzzled as to why we haven't seen more films from Norway.
Above all, watch the marvelous bodily and facial expressions to see some superlative acting.
Especially watch Mona Mårtenson in the title role: She is beautifully athletic as the Lapp girl, and she and the other three young adults in particular are very attractive besides.
And Mona Mårtenson has one of the most expressive faces I have ever seen. She alone would make this movie worth watching again and again.
To sum up, this is an extremely well done look at a culture so different, it is downright alien, but utterly fascinating. I very highly recommend "Laila," for frequent viewings.
Two words recur you will want to research: "Finnmark" and "daro." When you understand them, watch "Laila" again with improved understanding
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