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More than Kaurismäki
Finland - The land of Santa Clause, reindeer, snow, alcohol, sauna and dark movies. Yet, another movie in this category. Most viewers of Finnish movies probably know Aki Kaurismäki's movies, one of the few Finns who ever got successful abroad. But what have we got here? A movie based on a book by Sofie Oksanen, an Estonian-Finnish writer. It is dark, it is painful, but nothing like we're used to. It's darker, it's more painful. The movie tells of rape, of murder, of prostitution, of human trafficking. It tells us the story of two tortured souls who, in the end, can finally be free.
The movie is one of the best movies I have seen in a while, and surely the best non-English speaking movie that I've had the chance to watch lately. The acting is excellent, the story thankfully close to the book and the atmosphere soaks you right into the world of Aliide and Zara. Indeed, you get so captivated that sometimes it's hard to choke down your urge to scream.
If you have any chance, watch the movie and make your own picture of it. Nonetheless, be warned, people with quite a weak stomach should abstain from watching this movie because of its rather disturbing pictures.
Given you enjoyed this one, you might also like "Lilya 4-ever" (2002).
Christmas Cupid (2010)
A Christmas No-Go
OK guys, let's face it. It's December, snow is falling and although we're stressed out, we want to relax and get into a Christmas mood. So we lean back and switch on "Christmas Cupid" in hope for a bit silly, but watchable movie.
I'm sorry I have to stop you right here. This movie is bad from the beginning to the end. The acting is dreadful, not in one million years do I buy the businesswoman on "the fast track". The storyline is somewhat incoherent, yet unforgivably predictable. Yes, we have all watched romantic comedies with a predictable ending, but this one has got to be one of the worst. Even calling it a "comedy" does it too much honour. The take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was nicely thought, but horribly executed. Not to mention, that there was no cupid in the movie whatsoever.
This is not a movie I'd recommend for you to watch during Christmas time (or anytime, actually). Better go with some old classics, that'll really get you ready for the holidays!