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Anna is a movie about a workaholic single mother, spending summer with her daughter and a maid in Finnish archipelago. Sharing an island with her neighbours, a boozing ex-politician and his womanizing son. That's about as much there is to say about the plot.
The movie itself is far from perfect as far as the story goes. The main character Anna is left pretty undeveloped and she remains a mystery through out the movie, the other characters getting a lot of screen time considering the title of the movie. The focus is often on the maid, but maybe this is intentional to show Anna doesn't really have much of a life other than her work.
What makes this movie interesting is the director, Jörn Donner. To me Donner is the one of the most underrated directors from Finland. While Anna is easily recognizable as a Finnish movie, with gorgeous archipelago scenery, summer cabins, boozing neighbour, nudity, midsummer night, it's still an oddity among most Finnish movies. But it's a Finnish-Swedish movie after all, so the comparison may not be justified.
There is a lot of talking, and I mean a lot, quiet scenes are rare if any and the movie flows perfectly. There's no rain, sun keeps shining, the summer cabin is a design cabin, not your traditional log cabin hidden in the woods. The spoken language of the movie is Swedish, which is more than normal for the area.
This movie is like a fresh ocean wind among Finnish movies. Not a masterpiece or a truly unforgettable experience, but rather a curiosity in a bigger picture.
Jörn, I'm still waiting for you to produce a movie for Woody Allen, about Finnish Swedish upper class family spending a summer in the archipelago. Now that would be something.
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