A tragic and comic tale about beautiful and self-absorbed Eva, who cheats on her boyfriend, which becomes the starting point of a slow but relentless descent down to the life of ordinary people and a surprising, but doomed friendship.
Anna Odell, a famous artist, doesn't get an invitation to her class reunion. She then makes a film about what could have happened if she had gone to the reunion and confronted her former ... See full summary »
Three sisters, all adrift and in crisis, reunite at their childhood home as their domineering mother arranges her big birthday party. The festivities soon come to an end, repressed ... See full summary »
Helena Af Sandeberg,
An astute observation based on real cases of bullying. In central Gothenburg, Sweden, a group of boys, aged 12-14, robbed other children on about 40 occasions between 2006 and 2008. The ... See full summary »
Five youngsters have grown to be men in Falkenberg. This is the story of their last summer together in the little west coast town. They are all different, with different views upon life and the future. Life is over, yet just to start. The adulthood is about to start, but are they ready? Not all of them, and not all will reach there either. A meditation about life, poetic, balanced, which will remind most of their own childhood and coming of age, and the melancholy of life changes, when you know there's no turning back. A last farewell to a hometown, the little town by the sea. Written by
This memorable, visually unique, and sometimes very emotional story of a group of young friends whose lives implode after their schooling ends ranked among the top 3 films of the 15 or so I saw at the Toronto Film Festival. Unfortunately, the combination of $20 ticket prices and a 1 (out of 5) rating given this film by the major Toronto free weekly paper resulted in relatively few audience members taking a chance on the work of a first-time director. Moreover, I will say that this is not a film for everyone, and that there were a fair number of walk-outs at the screening I saw.
All that said, I think those who appreciate films that approach storytelling from a truly cinematic perspective -- that is, where the shots, the editing, the sound design, and the music tell the story as much as the action and dialogue do -- will find a lot to love here. As others have noted, this film did share some aesthetic elements with the last few (excellent) features by Gus van Sant (Elephant, Gerry, and Last Days), but it mixes this feeling with some of the contagious warmth, humor, and genuine emotional impact of Lucas Moodysson's Together (2000).
I think that whoever gave this film that (fatal) 1-star rating in Toronto must have popped in a screener tape, seen a lot of out-of-work young people goofing around and cracking some coarse jokes, and then tuned out at about the ten minute mark, writing this one off as yet another debut filmmaker mining the "slacker" genre for low-grade yux -- admittedly an unappealing prospect. But there's so much more at work here, and those who stay engaged in the film will be rewarded with unconventional but emotionally honest (and first-rate!) storytelling.
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