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"Cinematographic, incisively reflective and life-affirming..."
Finnish screenwriter and television and film director Matti Ijäksen Elokuvassa's sixth feature film which he co-wrote with Finnish screenwriters Heikki Vuento, J-P Passi and Finnish author and director Auli Mantila, premiered in the Finnish Film Week section at the 26th Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy in 2013, was screened in the New Finnish Films section at the 28th Sodankylä elokuvahojat - Midnight Sun Film Festival in 2013, was shot on locations in Finland and Norway and is a Finland-Norway co- production which was produced by Finnish producers Auli Mantila, Elokuvayhtiö Aamu and Jussi Rantamäki. It tells the story about a photographer named Toivo aka Topi Vaarala whom is driving through the landscape of Lapland with a bench looking for new motifs, a man whom has just been realized from prison named Ismo Raate whom is looking for his ex-girlfriend and a single mother named Ansa who due to a broken arm and a leaking roof has had to delay a journey.
Distinctly and acutely directed by Finnish filmmaker Matti Ijäs, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, draws a rare and quite distinguishable portrayal of a somewhat solitary artist whom has left people out of his photographs a long time ago and whose focus is changed the day a woman sits down on his bench and becomes the center of one of his sceneries, a somewhat changed man who returns home to his family, an adolescent boy named Esa whom has missed his brother and who wants to get away from his home and a daughter and student named Suvi who finds a friend for life. While notable for its distinct, naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, reverent cinematography by Finnish cinematographer Rauno Ronkainen and low-keyed production design by Finnish production designer Kaisa Mäkinen and costume design by Finnish costume designer Sari Suominen, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about unrequited, lost and found love where a drifter puts aside his work to support a woman who lives in a house in the highlands of Lapland with her daughter, depicts three dense and merging studies of character and contains a great and timely score by Finnish composer Timo Hietala.
This distinctly humorous, charmingly romantic, gracefully atmospheric and modestly existentialistic road-movie which is set in Finland and Northern Norway in the 21st century and where a woman whom has had to raise her only child on her own and take all kinds of jobs for their survival and to pay her debts to the father of her ex-boyfriend, befriends a calm man who doesn't have the economic security she is searching for but something far more important, is impelled and reinforced by its brilliant narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, variegated characters, quick-witted dialog, cheerful use of music, familiar cinematic language, humane and noteworthy acting performances by Finnish actor Sampo Sarkola and Finnish actress Krista Kosonen, and the fine acting performances by Finnish actors Tommi Korpela and Lauri Romakkainiemi and Finnish actress Aurora Kuusisto. A cinematographic, incisively reflective and life-affirming character piece.
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