Autumn 1978 in suburban Sweden. Everything seems to be fine with the middle class Bendrick family with their two teenage children and a younger son, until the mother starts seeing her first... See full summary »
Autumn 1978 in suburban Sweden. Everything seems to be fine with the middle class Bendrick family with their two teenage children and a younger son, until the mother starts seeing her first love again after 20 years. Just like their badly built house, the family façade starts slowly crumbling into pieces. The daughter, 15, finds her first love, and the boys too are puzzled by their own questions around adolescence and sexuality. The father tries to keep up a happy face, while the youngest son is the first and the most sensitive to realize how the family is heading towards a disaster. Written by
Set in the 1970's, this is a story of a family falling apart, while trying to keep up the good spirit, hiding feelings and pretending that everything is okay. "Smile, though your heart is breaking", sort of.The foundation of their house is cracking as well, and if there is one big weakness in the script and the film, this is the one. Over-the-top symbolism is not my thing. But that flaw set aside, this is an engaging and believable story that keeps you hooked from the very first scene. Director Kjell-Åke Andersson lets it all unfold in a smooth, gentle pace, creating fine images without overdoing the camera work, and letting the faces of the actors speak it's always nice to see a Swedish movie where people actually don't talk talk talk all the time. Like the scene where the family i sitting in front of the TV (watching classic 70s show "The Persuaders") bringing a sticky feeling to the viewer that these people have nothing to say to each other and that's when Dad says: "We're having a good time, aren't we?". The feeling of time period is so excellent (the brownish colors, the haircuts, the hilarious jeans and so on) that the filmmakers easily could have left out a couple of the all-too- familiar standard collection of songs of the 70's, but that's just a small remark on the side. Saving the best for last: the acting is over all very good. Rolf Lassgård with his incredible presence, Maria Lundquist with her gently played-out neurotics. And the young actors portraying the children are excellent. The sulky face of Morgan, played by Linus Nord, stays with you for a while. Not great, but definitely good.
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