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Catharina_Sweden

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188 reviews in total 
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Well-written and strangely fascinating about elderly care, 8 February 2016
9/10

This is a very good TV series, one of the best Swedish TV series I have ever seen! The fantastic thing about it is that its setting - an nursing home for the elderly - and its characters - elderly people and their carers, children who are themselves at the brink of old age etc.- sound so boring, uninteresting and definitely not cool. But after the first episode you are hooked! You want to know if Harriet is going to accept using her walker, and if the son she is boasting so much about is ever going to visit... If Olle will be allowed into the home, if Margit will have to stay although she dislikes it so much or if her daughter will take her home... If the new, young subs are going to manage the work, and stand it... And maybe there will even be a little love and romance at the home..? This is well-written drama at its best!

I have worked at these kinds of institutions myself when I was young, and I can vouch for that the situations that happen here happen in reality, and as do the attitudes from the different groups (adult children, young academics, bosses high up in the hierarchy etc..) I have heard many of the utterances in this series myself! It is EXACTLY like this, except for one thing: in reality (and this was so already in 2003) there would not be any people as relatively sound, healthy and youngish as Tommy, Margit, George, Asta or Olle at a home of this kind (if it is not private). The municipalities cannot afford it; you have to be like Saga or Per to get a place, and this of course makes the work even harder for the staff than it seems here.

The details in the various caring procedures are correctly pictured, the dialogue is intelligent, and the actors are also very good, most of them. A must-see for all who have anything to do with a nursing home, or who possibly will have in the near future!

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Competent and educating but (almost) never exciting, 3 January 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am not as over the top about this series as the rest of the world seems to be. There is no doubt that it is a very competent work with high production values and an enormous budget. But I never felt any "love" for any of the characters, and I never felt that desire that you can feel when a work of fiction is really, really good, to be part of it and live in that world there with them.

I think both the best and the worst thing with this series was its realism. For instance, the class differences are not so exaggerated as in many works of fictions that deal with castles, lords, nobility etc.. Which is a good thing if it is a correct period piece you want - but you never feel that magic and admiration that you feel for, for instance, Mr Rochester brooding in his Thornfield Hall... There is no romance here, and no mystery.

Also, some story lines took up too much time, for instance the elderly ladies' intriguing about the charitable hospital positions, and the Mr Marston-his son-his farm-Daisy intrigue. I found both of these stories very tedious. Also, I think it was a mistake to make a long-drawn out detective story about the Mr Bates-and-his-wife's death-thing. It felt out of place and as a cheap attempt to introduce something spectacular that would rise the audience' interest when it was waning.

For me this series was more education than anything else. For as such it is very good, because it captures the period perfectly: the social changes, the women from the higher classes starting to work a little outside home, the young people moving to towns to find work in factories, shops, restaurants etc. instead of working as hired farmhands or servants at private estates. I have had some relatives, now long gone, who were born in the beginning of the 20th century. This was their world when they were children and young people, and I feel that this series has made me understand their way of reasoning better!

I also much appreciate the great attention to detail in clothes, hair-styles, furniture, ornaments, cars, music, dancing, and other things. You really feel yourself transported to this time period!

Witty and wonderful, 3 January 2016
9/10

I loved this series! Although every episode was built on the same formula - Hyacinth wanted to snob in some way, but was instead humiliated - it never became boring.

I think the reasons are several: 1) very witty dialogue, I laughed all the time! 2) characters that you can relate to, because we have all met them: the snobbish and dominant Hyacinth, her husband the long-suffering Richard, the lazy and unkempt White Trash-man Onslow, the over-sexed and mutton-dressed-as-lamb Rose, the nervous and submissive Elizabeth etc.. 3) very good actors that play their parts perfectly (the only one who was not right was the actress playing the Vicar's wife, she was somewhat wooden and unlikeable) and 4) the recognition factor. There are so many situations you can recognize from real life, for instance the women running after the handsome young vicar although they know he is married (this is happening in churches all over the world). Or the way Hyacinth is always boasting about her son, although everybody else understands that he is far from perfect...

But the most important thing is that this series has this strange, alluring quality of sucking the viewer into the world on the screen. I feel that I want to be there with them - yes despite of Hyacinth! The troubles they have are very small really, nothing very bad happens, it is an idyllic and almost old-English world, like an oasis in all the terrible things that happen in the world today. I want to have this world to flee to, when reality overcomes me! When I have forgotten the episodes a little, I am going to watch it all from the beginning again!

Beautiful, funny and entertaining, although silly and predictable at times, 18 October 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

REVIEW FOR SEASON 1, which is all I have watched.

When I first heard of this series, which I had managed to miss all these years, I thought it sounded like a great idea! I mean: who does not love a Lord (or "Laird" in this case)! :-) Not to speak of old castles and the wonderful nature scenery in the Highlands, and all the special Scottish traditions you can use, such as Scottish country-dances, bag-pipes, kilts with clan tartans etc.. It does not seem possible to fail with those ingredients.

But in reality... it seems a bit trite. The jokes are too simple, there is too much slapstick, and in every episode it is obvious already in the beginning how it has to end.

I think the part of the young Laird almost carries the whole production, because he is very likable, with a little help of his elderly but feisty father, who does not want to let go of the past, and his beautiful and well-dressed but a bit air-headed mother. The other characters unfortunately I do not like, I do not think any of the three young women are suitable as new Lady of the Manor for instance, and the other men working on the estate and running around in the village all are generally uninteresting. Although I cannot say if the wrong lies with the characters or with the actors.

All in all, it is A LITTLE worth seeing if you are interested in the Highlands themselves, and I am now starting with season 2! :-)

October 24, 2015

Alright, I have now watched SEASON 2 AND 3 as well, and I have raised my marks to 7! I still find it silly, though. The solutions are always so very simple, and completely out of touch with reality. Of course you do not play games about the rights to an ancient big estate, and you cannot stop the bank from foreclosing your loan by refusing to help the bank employee to cross the stream...

But if you put your brain aside for awhile and only watch with your heart, it is in fact quite funny and entertaining, with beautiful scenery, and also sometimes deep with human interest and things you can relate to. I, for one, can very much relate to Archie's feelings after his father died with mine after my father died. I remember all the unresolved issues, everything that ought to have been said but was then too late to say... Another thing I can very much relate to is Lexie's worries of not being good enough for Archie. I have felt like that several times when I have become fond of a man - and it does not always have to do with social differences either...

All in all I would recommend this, if you just remember that it IS entertainment and escapism, and not realism.

November 6, 2015

Now I have watched it all to the end! I think it was drawn out too long, too many "heavy" characters disappeared and too many new were introduced - I felt I could not connect to them all anymore. Too much time was taken up by the teenagers - that is not interesting for an adult audience.

Also, there were too many repetitions of already used plot ideas. Such as women throwing themselves at the Laird, first one set of women with Archie, and then another set with Paul, and the silly contests about the estate and the title of Laird. And when they could not decently introduce another Laird-contest, they threw in a ghillie-contest instead...

The best thing should have been if the show had ended when Archie left. (No, the VERY best thing should of course have been if he had not left at all.) Although there were some nice stories and moments in the last seasons as well that I would not have missed. I think for instance of the misunderstanding when Paul thought Jess fancied him, and he was going to talk to her about it in a mature way... And the brief love story between Golly and Megan, and the son he finally got late in life... And the ending when Paul was going to give Iona away... but took repossession instead! :-)

I think the very best thing with watching this show, was that I learnt a lot about rural Highland life. I feel like going there on holiday! :-)

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Stupid, slow, low-budget, quasi-psychological, amateurish, 14 September 2015
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As this movie is Swedish, as I am myself, I would have liked to give it good marks. But this is not possible. This was a very slow, stupid and silly movie. Nothing really happens, you have to look at for instance people walking on a mountain road for several minutes. It is low-budget and amateurish. The only value I can see in it is some nature scenery (very sparse of this though despite of the location), and that you can relate to the things the characters do if you have yourself been to a skiing resort with your kids.

The plot in short: a Swedish/Norwegian family of four goes to a ski resort in the Alps. An incident happens that might be dangerous - but turns out not to be. The father gets into a panic and thinks only of saving himself. Then follows a lot of quasi-psychological stuff. In the end another incident happens that might be dangerous - but turns out not to be. This time the mother panics and thinks only of saving herself. This is supposed to be a happy ending, with everything evened out..?!! I can only say: poor kids with BOTH parents like that!!!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A good idea and good actors, that could have been used much better, 1 September 2015
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was quite slow and drawn-out, silly and dated, and not very funny either. The main idea about a couple who marry for convenience, and intend not to share a bedroom, but then develop feelings for each other after all, is quite good though - although not original. So much more could have been made by it. What one wants to see in a story with that theme, is the sexual tension slowly growing between the man and woman, and some innuendo... that is the whole point. Instead there were too many other, uninteresting, people involved here, and there was too much running in and out through doors like in a drawing room comedy on the theater stage.

The whole movie is carried by the two leads: Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. I like it that Hollywood already in the 1940:s could make a love story with leads who were no longer young (especially that the woman is no longer young), and who did not have the traditional perfect handsome/pretty looks but instead more individual looks. The couple makes the movie worth watching once, in spite of all its shortcomings.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful and romantic with wonderful dialogue, 30 August 2015
8/10

This is a very fine movie! As I am not American these pilgrims have not meant so much to me - although I recognized a name or two - but now I feel I know them and understand them a little. Not only because of what I learned in the movie itself, but from the reading I have done after wards because it awakened my interest and curiosity. Good historical movies shall work just like that - and for a good cause a little poetical license is acceptable! Because without the unconsummated and tragic love story, also if it did not happen in reality, this movie would not have been half as thrilling.

Some reviewers here have complained that Spencer Tracy looks too old to play Captain Jones, but I find this strange as the real Captain Jones was the same age as Tracy... and as Jones also partook of the hardships on board, not only on this famous voyage but in a whole life at sea, and in fact died only a year after he returned to England, HE probably did not look like a spring chicken either... I also must admit that I at least find Tracy attractive in this part!

The best thing about this movie is the dialogue; there are many lines that are as beautiful as poetry. Captain Jones' words when he talks of his broken ship, his lonely nights and his feverish longing for Mrs Bradford, is some of the best dialogue I have ever heard in a love scene written for a movie. Very pungent and erotic with a feeling of impending doom...

The feeling of being transported to the time period is very good. The sailing part is as far as I can see accurate - you get to see a little of the sailors really working the sails, pulling up the anchor etc. (I would have wanted more of this). The photo is beautiful and there are impressive storm scenes etc..

There is one thing lacking though: I would have expected more religious ardor from the passengers. More spirit. After all: these are the founding fathers!!! I think they come out as too ordinary, too preoccupied with practical matters like any migrating peasants.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Quite boring, and not even Cary Grant can lift it, 27 August 2015
3/10

I did not enjoy this movie particularly. To begin with, it was not the least bit funny. It is slow, boring and very predictable. There are also obvious mistakes, such as the "newborn" kittens being several weeks old in reality (kittens are born blind and entirely helpless). I admit there are a few fine and moving moments though - such as the adopted boy's speech at the end.

If you love Cary Grant, it is worth watching this movie only for his sake - because he is at his most virile handsomeness here! I felt that he was wasted in this movie though. It was not good enough for a man with such looks and such star qualities, and he was not the right type for the part either, so he could not lift it. It was like taking the perfect Prince Tamino and dress him up like Papageno and force him to play that part instead...

The 19th century murder mystery part would have been enough, 26 August 2015
5/10

I think the 19th century part of this, after the real life murder mystery, was fine, interesting, well-acted and very believable - although no one can of course know if this was what really happened. But the culprit and the motive were an original and not impossible suggestion. I also liked it a lot that they used real Norwegian actors who actually spoke Norwegian, in the scenes that should take place back in Norway. That, and also the fact that the Norwegians wore Norwegian clothes from the right time period and had with them some Norwegian furniture etc. to America, gave it an authentic feel.

I did not think that the cutting between modern times and the 19th century worked, though. There were too many people to keep apart, and especially towards the end the cuts became too short and too fast and it all became just muddled. I am not even sure I understood what happened on the sailboat in the modern times. It would have been a much better idea to do the 19th century murder mystery only, and flesh it out a little instead.

Hitchcock (2012)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Interesting and fun, 20 August 2015
8/10

This is a fine movie. I thought it was interesting to see how the Psycho set might have looked - with the backdrop while the heroin was "driving" the car in front of it, etc.. To see where Hitchcock found his inspiration to various scenes in the movie. And also to follow the intrigues behind the production and Hitchcock's devices to get what he had wanted all along.Anthony Hopkins' work is excellent as usual. He walks as Hitchcock, talks as Hitchcock... The movie was also very witty.

I also thought that there was much of general human interest here. Especially the Hitchcock spouses' small infatuations with others, age paranoia, pity envies and jealousies. I suppose most middle-aged people who have been married for a long time, come to this now and then. But in the end they often realize, just as Hitchcock and Alma, that the grass is not greener anywhere else...


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