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Antonio Moro works for gangster boss Thomas Steel. He lives happily with his girlfriend Tanya who is expecting their child. Antonio's future looks bright, until one evening when he is ordered to kill a person who is close to all of them.
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Anders, Kenneth and Steven (all played by Magnusson) went to high school together. Today they are 38, still living in the Swedish suburb but now in completely different stages of life. This... See full summary »
Riveting Portrait of a Swedish Summer Party Run Amok
SOMMARSTÄLLET (THE SUMMER HOUSE) Swedish director Marcus Werner Hed's The Summer House is one of those joyously self-contained auteur films that linger fondly in one's memory. Drawing on Danish Dogme principles, the film (co-directed and written with Johan von Reybekiel) provides a riveting hand-held appreciation of a summer party running afoul of its drunken guests' psycho-sexual peccadilloes.
Much of our pleasure comes from the sensationally intense and nuanced performance of actress Sara Blomqvist, a former top model in her native Sweden who makes a remarkable film debut as Stina, the leggy cousin of Carl whose birthday is being celebrated in a dilapidated farmhouse in the Swedish countryside.
Even though Stina is presumably in love with her drone-like English boyfriend Nick, she nevertheless uses the occasion to engage in drunken sex with the pretentious and obnoxious Carl, who has long nurtured a lustful interest in her. When Nick discovers that Stina has cuckolded him, he proceeds to sink Carl's prized pontoon boat, although not, unfortunately, with Carl inside.
Blomqvist is a revelation, her subtle expressions and sculpted features alternating between languid alienation and the spoiled indifference of the pretty girl lacking focus. She brings a simmering sensuality and fragile beauty to Stina whose sexual appetite clearly exceeds Nick's Anglo-Saxon limitations.
Crackling with neurotic tension and dark undercurrents, The Summer House is reminiscent of Thomas Vinterberg with dashes of Ingmar Bergman thrown in for good measure. The assembled Swedes indulge in a dizzying display of familiar Nordic recriminations and suppressed antagonisms, fueled by alcohol and a general lack of intellectual ambition. Were he still alive, Ingmar would probably be watching it late one night on his island home of Faro.
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