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En sång för Martin
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Reviews & Ratings for
A Song for Martin More at IMDbPro »En sång för Martin (original title)

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Index 16 reviews in total 

15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Love and Perseverance

Author: nbott
13 November 2001

It is my understanding that when a man and a woman get married, it is because they love one another and promise to be loyal and faithful. Despite the fact that many marriages are no such thing, it is wonderful to see a film that convinces you that it is possible to love someone so much that no amount of adversity can destroy it.

That is the essence of this film. It is true that we learn a great deal about a horrible disease, but, more importantly, we learn what true love is. The drama in this film really takes place in the mind and the heart of Barbara, the wife. She must face the changes in her life from the joy of finding true love in her life after a difficult marriage to a life of dealing with a sick husband. We see her, painstakingly, deal with change after change and sometimes she breaks down because of the enormity of the challenge.

The second lesson we learn in this film is that love brings a real sense of perseverance. Caring for a sick husband is really no different than caring for a child. A mother normally does not lose her love for the child because he or she acts like a child, but, rather, she perseveres because of pure and simple love.

I do not have sufficient words to express the beauty of this film. It rings true.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Got right to the chase

Author: marbleann from Houston
2 January 2006

First I want to say I never heard of this movie before unless it was in the cable listings. The title made it seem like a children's movie. So I was never really interested. Well I got blindsided one morning. I woke up and the party scene in the beginning was going on. Right before she goes to bed with Martin for the first time. I was drawn to the movie because it wasn't your usual twenty-somethings but a middle age couple. I did not know he was not her husband until she broke the news to her children that she was getting a divorce. I am interested now. But I had not a inkling about what was to come. I love the scenes on their honeymoon and I said to myself this is a pretty god movie about finding love at a older age. If it was a American movie this would never have happened, BUT if it is a American movie something has to happen. We are so sanctimonious with our movies so they have to be punished. Well something did happen.

I love this movie because it doesn't gloss over how bad it is to take care of a sick person. And how devastating a illness can be. Even though Martin had Alzheimer I feel his illness represented anyone who has to deal with a catastrophic illness and the caretakers, people who usually love them the most. How many people do I know including me who have taken care of a sick loved one who can identify with the woman in this movie. People are afraid to say how angry they could get or mad with the person they are helping. This movie shows her frustration and anger. The little scene in which she tells Martin that they canceled his show was great. God I knew she was lying. She was angry and that is how she showed it. She never abused him but she abused herself. How many care takers have I known end up sicker then the person they are caring for? Or died. More then a few. My grandfather for one. Thankfully in the country the movie takes place in they have places for people to go to to get a rest and health-care is free. In the United States we not only have to worry about the persons illness we have to worry about what happens if they have to go in a home. Not only because of the sub par care but because if you do not have a lot of money the care is horrendous. How refreshing to see that problem was not something she have to worry about.

In this movie they deal strictly with the emotional side of a illness and how it affects the person who loves them the most. And it is done well. How the wife wanted to make life as normal for him as possible knowing that it was really fruitless. How she wanted to keep him home as long as she could. How it affects the children and friends. The scene where the best friend slips out of the concert hall was so realistic. People seem to disappear when their "friends" get sick.

I am also glad it was not a long drawn out movie. They got right to the chase. The to leads were excellent. On a sad note I read that the female lead actually died right after making this movie and she had evidentially lived with the male lead and he was there with her when she died. How sad.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

"Love is alive and present, even if its buried alive by brain disease"

Author: victorsargeant from United States BOULDER COUNTY COLORADO
19 December 2005

Caught this film late one night, cold Colorado winter night, and could not walk away to a warm bed.

Well done, cast and crew deserve to be proud of themselves, if this is the director's wish. Never knew much about Swedish foreign film.

Bergman, of course, but not this director. Echoes of Bergman were felt.

The actors who played the leads, Martin and Barabara were perfect and carried the story. I felt their love and pain.

The summer picnic conversation around Mozart's The Magic Flute, was the metaphysical key to the lock for me. Two questions are discussed, light overcomes darkness and even the departed, are still alive and above all love survives all.

Watching the different levels of old timers pull them down into its oblivion, we see the struggles of the two lovers grasping the threads of their love, against the winds of madness.

Nancy Reagen, remarked, "They know from their side, that they are being taken away, against their will, and the look of desperation is haunting. It is the worst stage of the disease." In the last scene, Barbara moves in to Kiss Martin, and he mistakes this movement, to mean food, and opens his mouth, like a bird....its poignant and sweet.

Would own this DVD, as it gave me something I want to keep. I want to know more about the director, and the two major actors now.


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A deep love despite loss

Author: Mattias Thuresson from Stockholm, Sweden
29 September 2001

A story about deep love and how it can overcome any obstacle. Barbara's and Martin's love is put to the test when their doctor diagnose Martin with Alzheimer's disease. For Martin, as a famous composer, it gets more and more difficult to finish an opera due to his sickness, which also strains his relationship with his wife Barbara. Her love and constant reminiscence of their past makes her treat him as fully healthy for much too long.

Both Viveka Seldahl as Barbara and Sven Wollter as Martin are making a wonderful performance in the leading roles. Seldahl is able to use her face the show any kind of expression as the disease turns her beloved husband from a hardworking composer to a bedridden hospital patient. It is nice to finally see her in a leading role. And Wollter is thoroughly credible as the man suffering from a disease that slowly but surely will take his senses from him. We as the audience should ask ourselves if the man finally admitted to hospital is the same man Barbara married. The tragedy of Alzheimer's disease face us with a question if somebody's personality has something innate that will withstand loss of memory or dementia. To Barbara, at least, it is clear that Martin's illness does not change what she feels for her husband: love.

Also worth accolades is the beautiful score by Stefan Nilsson.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Powerful and moving with hard realism .

Author: cathylb from United States
27 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not a "public gratification" movie - don't watch it if you must have a happy ending. Also, it's subtitled (the subtitles were large and easy to read, yet did not detract from the film).

It is a powerful and moving story of a woman, a talented violinist, dealing with Alzheimer's disease as she watches it ravage her husband, a renowned composer. It details her journey from having a fully functioning, healthy, loving husband, to the hard reality of taking care of him as he gets worse and worse.

There are heart-wrenching scenes as he declines and his disease takes over his brain. As his wife, she is determined to keep him home as long as she can, but as he knows her less and less, it becomes impossible.

We watch as the transformation takes place in her: From loving wife, to care-taker, to nurse-mother, and eventually to accepting the inevitable. It's amazing to watch how she adapts to each stage, and it is done incredibly well.

I was completely engrossed in this film from the moment I started watching it. I found it beautifully done. It is worth watching.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Author: jotix100 from New York
4 July 2002

This was a very real and harrowing film. I went with misgivings since I knew what the subject was about, but fell under the spell cast by director Bille August.

This story rings true from the beginning. The film is a lovely love story between Barbara and Martin, played superbly by Viveka Seldahl and Sven Wottter.

Barbara, obviously is dealt a blow when the Alzheimer is diagnosed but she proceeds to deal with it in her own terms. Little did she know that her marriage to Martin would turn into the nightmare it did. How do you stop loving and doing for that person you thought about spending the rest of your life with?

The Alzheimer turns Martin into a vegetable. His mind is gone. From the brilliant composer and director, he becomes another person completely different from the person we met at the beginning of the film.

Most critics in New York keep comparing this film with Iris. It is very unfair, because obviously all Alzheimers cases are different and don't have to reflect in this case, what went in Iris Murdoch's mind.

I have to give credit to the director, Mr. August, who has not taken the easy approach and documents the progress in a very dignified manner.

All the performances are on key. The extended families of these couple are very strong behind the parents, which is something very rare to find these days.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Life imitating art

Author: rudys-2 from United States
31 December 2005

I guess I am a late comer to this wonderful movie. But the typical Scandinavian style of weaving a story really impressed me about this movie. Even more so was the fact that I read about Viveka in real life dying in the arms of her long-time companion, Sven Wolter, the protagonist in the movie. The true love that remains bright even under such dire circumstances that mirrored real life was indeed a beauty to watch. Perhaps as a latecomer I could appreciate life imitating art imitating life scenario. One could see Viveka's face brighten up even when she got a little bit of recognition from Sven's Alzheimer-ridden character. Yes, indeed, Alzheimer, is a terrible disease, robbing the person of his least vestige. But what the film makes clear is that the care giver's life is even more stripped and laid bare. Great movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

thoughtful, moving film

Author: WilliamCKH from Northern California
11 March 2009

In this film, Martin, seems to me, a very lucky guy. Blessed with a talent, fame, fortune, many admirers, a beautiful family and a woman who loves him. The film depicts, very honestly, the pain of dealing with loss, Martin's slow descent into the darkness of Alzheimer's. You could not have asked for more of Barbara as a wife, her slow patience, her physical anguish, her public humiliations, and at the same time dealing with the inner pain of losing a partner This film deals with this situation in a very honest, unsentimental way and it captures the spirit of those strong men and women who are left to endure long after their loved ones have parted.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Makes me want to start donating to Alzheimer's research.

Author: suzanna_leslie from United States
14 October 2006

I give it a 3 for being so long and drawn out, but I give it a 10 for reminding me and giving me a picture of what can happen when someone is given an EXTREME dose of Alzheimer's. This is a movie that shows you a "worst case" scenario, but given the choice of a long and drawn out condition or short one, anyone, whether caregiver or patient, would choose the later one and try to make the most out of it before they die. This is a good movie for someone who wants to become a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's and needs a good devil's advocate. This is also a good educational movie for those studying in the mental health field.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Alzheimer's conquers all

Author: Zork G. Hun (trixter-2) from Canada
7 October 2001

While `A song for Martin' is a powerful movie, it is also a sort of impotent one. One of the hobbyhorses of my high school literature teacher was to make us understand the difference between what is tragic and dramatic. A car accident is tragic. A car going over a cliff driven by someone fulfilling his inescapable destiny is drama. Alzheimer's is a tragic disease, but it is not drama. Unavoidable is not a substitute for inescapable. You cannot have drama without participation while participation is the last thing you can expect from someone suffering from the disease. This is a very well made movie. Acting is superb; cinematography is fine. I learned from it everything I would ever care to know about Alzheimer's, but I still left the theatre with an empty feeling. The story is sad, the loss is painful and love conquers everything but I had no revelations. I received information, from which I only gained knowledge, not real gut wrenching understanding. I never cared much about acted documentaries and this film never really rose above that.

`A song for Martin' has a very promising start. Passionate love at the age of 50/60 is full of dramatic potential. For a while I thought that is what the movie will be about, but I was wrong. There are hints of dramatic conflict but they are never explored and from the moment Martin is diagnosed, the story turns purely didactic. Dealing with such a situation also has dramatic potentials but this movie choose to concentrate on the evolution of the illness. Is that bad? I don't know, but gaining this sort of knowledge is not what I expect from art.

Should you see this movie? I think so. You will learn a lot about the illness most of us fear the most. Just do not expect more. See it for what it is: an animated illustration of the disease. For that, it is perfect.

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