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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A fairy-tale for adults

Author: Anders Åslund ( from Karlstad, Sweden
15 January 2001

A bizarre, confusing fairy-tale not really intended for children, "Glasblåsarns Barn" is the kind of film one would wish they could send as an Oscar candidate for best foreign film. It is odd, mysterious and strange - very strange, with characters that defy the imagination: a ruler who can't say "thank you", an enormous, disgusting and evil nanny and a witch take part in this story, set in rural Sweden sometime in the 19th century. Two children are kidnapped by the ruler of a nearby castle, where all memories are lost, just to satisfy his spoiled, self-satisfied but troubled lover and wife. Rebellious and confused, the children are a strain on everyone, and finally a tyrannous nanny is sent for to look after them. Meanwhile, the devastated parents are at a loss for what to do, and seek the help of a witch-like neighbor.

This is craftsmanship - a one-of-a-kind movie with a sense of wonder and mystery. Very moody and heavily symbolic, the fairy tale is brought to lífe by brilliant acting, beautiful camera work and a fascinating story. The actors, Stellan Skarsgård, Pernilla August, Elin Klinga and Ewa Fröling among others, are of the Swedish elite and do their very best in this film. It is sometimes very funny but generally pretty ominous and frightening. Great work.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Stunningly beautiful

Author: AKS-6 from Sweden
28 April 2000

"Glasblåsarns barn" is the most stunningly beautiful Swedish film I have ever seen (yes, I think it's more beautiful than "Elvira Madigan"). The cinematography is great, the production design exquisite, the costume design is brilliant, and the locations are truly beautiful. It's on par with "Sleepy Hollow," really. Not only is it beautiful, it is also a good film. Thommy Berggren is magnificent as Härskaren, and apart from him the film boasts a top notch cast like Stellan Skarsgård and Pernilla August. Even the two kids do great jobs. A wonderful fairy tale for both children (not too young, though) and adults. Highly recommended.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An enchanting tale, not only for children

Author: Love Malmqvist ( from Revsund, Jamtland, Sweden
10 July 1999

The setting takes place in early 19th century Sweden. Just outside a small forestal village lives Sofia (Pernilla August, recently seen in The Phantom Menace) and Albert (Stellan Skarsgard, Good Will Hunting/Ronin) and their two children. Albert is a glass-blower, but he makes a poor income despite his beautiful creations. Albert just hasn´t got the selling talent it takes, and he often has to push his full cart home from markets. The joy in their lifes are their children, and Pernilla and Stellan manage to create a memorable portrait of two poor but happy parents.

In a lonesome castle lives the Emperor, excellently played by Thommy Berggren, and his wife. He is a somewhat tragicomical character, small and insignificant and completely misplaced as an emperor. His innermost desire is to be loved and respected, but his wife, referred to only as the Empress, despises him and suffers from constant headaches for which she blames him. The Emperor is a truly beautifully crafted character, and as he wanders down his enourmous hallways you can not resist to feel sorry for him.

One day the Emperor decides to go for a ride in his horse-cart. Albert´s two children acts as gate-openers for him, and receives some coins for the work. But the Emperor´s mind gets completely obsessed with the idea of having a pair of nice children in the castle...

The first minutes of this intricate and fascinating saga directly sets a mood that continues throughout the film. A sense of unreality, as in perhaps Ingmar Bergman´s Fanny och Alexander, and it is a mood that fits the movie perfectly. This is originally a tale written by Maria Gripe, one of Sweden´s best in the genre. Although i haven´t read the book, the film captures the essence of great storytelling, and the cast is superb. The film might be a bit scary for younger children to watch alone, so don´t resist to watch it with them.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The kind of thing to show your children if you want them to grow up to be Ingmar Bergman

Author: niclas-sand-engberg
22 December 2003

The eternal fight between good and evil.

Well-made with good acting but gloomy and depressing. This is what you would show your kids if you want them to grow up to be Ingmar Bergman.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Narnia Light, with no taste at all

Author: jim_ruuth from Sweden
17 January 2012

Terrible story, not logic at all. bad acting, except from Pernilla August and Stellan Skarsgård. I can make a big list of everything that went wrong with this movie. But as said Skarsgård and August does their roles faultless. And the photo is great. But it ends there. The stupidity of this movie will perhaps even be noticed by small kids. This is not for the adult. Really an insult to kids I would say. But perhaps this is even too scary for the kids which has to be the main audience for this flick. The style of this movie reminds me a bit of Narnia or Charlie and the chocolate factory. But with a almost non existing storyline. It hurts me to see such a big budget (at least for Sweden) being thrown away into this mess of a film. I cant understand why any grownup would enjoy this. Its just a terrible movie.

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1 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Great cast in total waste of film

Author: allangus from Sthlm
25 December 2002

Horribly bad direction by Mr Grönros. Is he a joke or what? No sense for timing, storytelling and psychology. Even if this film was meant for dumb kids, or is that the problem? Maybe Mr Grönros thinks kids are stupid in general? The logic of this film is questionable at the least. I can't even bare to watch the whole film. It`s actually playing now on the TV. I get so mad. The film is obviously an expensive one and the cinematography is good. The cast is some of the best actors available in Scandinavia. (Stellan Skarsgård, Pernilla August etc) How that happened is amazing! I think that the problem of this project, apart from the director, is that he himself (more or less) has made an adaption of the Maria Gripe book. Indeed it's a fairy tale, but that doesn't mean one can throw away logic or have completely meaningless scenes in the film. Ever heard of dramatic storytelling? As in moving the plot along? The special effects with the birds are ridiculously badly done in a film like this from -98. Again, how the hell could Mr Grönros approve? The final scene is also a display of bad filmmaking. A scene that could have been powerful goes limp due to very bad choices in editing/ direction. (Just read that Leon Flamholc is the editor so there you go - Mr Quality stirkes again) And again logic is forgotten. Memory loss anyone? Now I feel a little bit bad for Mr. Grönros as he sure as hell will read this. (IMDB is BIG) But the guy needs some critisism after spending all that money in this Swedish/ Danish/ Norweigian co-production. Shame on you! This must be one film danish co-producer Peter Albeck-Jensen regrets ever getting involved with.

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