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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
Leading actress Vikander is a wonder in this strong, thoughtful contemporary movie
A stunning performance by young actress Alicia Vikander and intelligent direction (and strong writing) from Lisa Langseth makes this Swedish film a must see.
When 20 year old Katarina finds an escape from her troubled life in a symphony hall, life turns completely around. And she almost keeps up with the change. But her naivite and powerlessness get in her way, as more powerful or misdirected people in the symphony read her signals the wrong way.
That simple set up is all Vikander needs to make her character writhe and shine and fall into despair on screen. It's psychologically tough, beautifully filmed, paced with a sense of importance. I really liked this all around. The story does in ways fall into a familiar power dynamic between older man and younger woman, and so there is by the end something missing there. But other aspects compensate, and Vikander makes small details revelations throughout.
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