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Katarina is 20 years old. With a troubled past in a dreary suburb, her life seems to be already set in stone - until she discovers music. Everything changes when she hears a performance of Mozart's Requiem at the Gothenburg Concert Hall that sends her reeling and opens up a beautiful new world. She feels that she has to change her life and get as far away from her ugly reality as possible. But the path she has to follow proves a treacherous one, filled with lies, betrayal and a dangerous liaison with the married conductor Adam. Yet Katarina is ready to do anything to gain her new identity. Written by
Swedish playwright, screenwriter and director Lisa Langseth's feature film debut which she also wrote, is inspired by her own play "The Loved One" (2004). It is a Swedish production which was shot on location in Gothenburg, Sweden and produced by Swedish producer and director Helen Ahlsson. It tells the story about Katarina, a twenty-year-old woman who lives in a gritty suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden with her alcoholic mother who she despises. Katarina's unyielding attitude has lost her many jobs, but after seeing a YouTube video of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Requiem" that makes a profound impression on her, she develops a strong fascination for classic music. In search of a new identity Katarina leaves her mother, her boyfriend and her friends, and lies her way into a job as a receptionist at the Gothenburg Concert Hall by telling the interviewer that her mother was a celebrated concert pianist in Australia who died before she got the chance to know her. Proudly conducting her tasks as a receptionist in her new and improved social position, Katarina meets an orchestra conductor named Adam who charms her with his knowledge about literature, philosophy and the classics of music, but her life spins out of control when she initiates a passionate and secretive relationship with Adam.
Finely and engagingly directed by director Lisa Langseth, this well-paced and intensifying fictional tale, draws an intriguing portrayal of a capricious, strayed and bordering on self-destructive young woman who grows increasingly obsessed with a successful conductor who she perceives as both a lover and a father-figure. While notable for its fine cinematography by Simon Pramsten and art direction by Lena Selander, the naturalistic urban milieu depictions and the efficient score by Per-Erik Winberg, this character-driven and somewhat theatrical thriller depicts a dark and internal study of character which examines themes like class and gender issues, identity and alienation.
This stringently narrated, finely tuned and poignantly atmospheric psychological drama, is impelled and reinforced by the remarkable and emphatic acting performance by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander in her first feature film role and the reverent acting performance by Swedish actor Samuel Fröler. A commendable directorial debut which gained the Flash Forward Award for Best Film at the 15th Busan International Film Festival in 2010, the Best Young Actor Award Alicia Vikander at the 41st Molodist International Film Festival in 2011 and the Guldbagge Award for Best Actress Alicia Vikander at the Guldbagge Awards in 2011.
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