7.3/10
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A Summer Tale (2000)

Den bästa sommaren (original title)
Two kids move in with a lonely undertaker who is secretly in love with the town's school teacher.

Director:

Ulf Malmros

Writers:

Ulf Malmros, Vasa (as Lars Johansson)
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6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kjell Bergqvist ... Yngve Johansson
Anastasios Soulis ... Mårten
Rebecca Scheja Rebecca Scheja ... Annika
Cecilia Nilsson ... Miss Svanström
Brasse Brännström ... Sven
Marcus Hasselborg Marcus Hasselborg ... Harald
Gachugo Makini Gachugo Makini ... Jacques
Göran Thorell Göran Thorell ... Erik Olsson
Ann Petrén ... Ljungström
Pale Olofsson Pale Olofsson ... Head Waiter
Anna Kristina Kallin Anna Kristina Kallin ... Nurse
Ralph Carlsson ... Priest
Jerker Fahlström ... Messenger
Johan Holmberg Johan Holmberg ... Policeman
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Storyline

The summer of '58, the year Sweden almost won the world championship in soccer over Brazil, Yngve Johansson accepts two children to live with him during the summer, as told through the eyes of a young boy. His name is Mårten, and the other child's name is Annika. She is a rough girl, with many problems. The three of them do not get along, and Yngve is a true dictator to the children's eyes. However, when the children discover that their new guardian has a crush on their teacher (Cecilia Nilsson), they do what they can to bring the two together. Soon enough, the three will discover that they have a lot more in common than they previously imagined, and together they can make their lives worth living again. This is a sweet story about life in Sweden in the mid 1900's. It is about family, love, hate, innocent friendship that we all can relate to, and much, much more. The movie invites laughter as well as tears, and the actors, both the young and the old, are very talented and the best ... Written by alla_alskar_anna

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Yngve Johansson: Ask him where he's from.
Mårten: [in English] Where do you come from?
Jacques: [in English] From Malmö, I played there for two months.
Mårten: He says he's from Malmö...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wedding Photographer (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Öppna ditt fönster, släpp in lite sol
Written by Engström / Larsson
Performed by Cecilia Nilsson
Courtesy of Warner/Chappell Music Scandinavia, AB
See more »

User Reviews

 
Kjell Bergkvist is amazing in this irresistible feel-good movie!
1 September 2006 | by Torgo_ApprovesSee all my reviews

(r#60)

Of all the good movies I've seen, shamelessly few of them have been Swedish. "Den Enfaldige Mördaren", "Att Angöra en brygga", "Nattvardsgästerna" and the cult flick "Frostbiten" come to mind. Now I can add "Den Bästa Sommaren" to the short list of Swedish films which are actually worth seeing. Because as much as I hate to admit it, this is a very good film. It's supremely well acted, well written and effectively pulls a few heartstrings at several moments. It's a brilliant movie. This coming from a self-confirmed hater of Swedish movies. I'm always skeptic about Swedish films because they always seem to have been written by a roomful of monkeys in five minutes, directed by some talentless hack-job the producers found outside Systembolaget, with neither charm nor production values. Strangely they all seem to be about angst, drinking, angsty lesbian teenagers, rape and angst. Did I mention angst? It's like a poor man's Bergman, only without the laughs.

The brilliance of Den Bästa Sommaren is that none of my prejudices are confirmed in it. It is a simple but never boring story about two orphan kids who are sloppily thrown between equally uncaring foster parents. They're lonely and feel like no one loves them. When they are sent to stay at the undertaker Yngve Johansson's place for the summer holidays, they discover friendship as well as love and better a few people's lives in the process.

This actually starts out as a hilarious comedy, despite the rather dark plot. This is where Kjell Bergqvist fits into the picture, as the depressed, socially challenged undertaker Johansson. I don't know why I've never seen this man in any other movies, because he is positively brilliant. He's fantastic. He embodies his nervous, twitchy and laughably pathetic character. Kjell plays Yngve Johansson to perfection and brings both laughs and tears as his well-written, 3-dimensional character develops throughout the film. Johansson is a character which we sometimes feel sympathy for, and sometimes hate utterly, which makes him as real as, well, a real person (this is rare in film, especially Swedish films, nowadays).

As for the kids, they deliver as well. Anastasios Soulis convinces as the confused, scared boy Mårten who befriends the more self-confident, but also more cynical, girl Annika, brilliantly played by Rebecca Scheja.

It is Johansson's spot-on cynicisms and questionable words of wisdom that carry the film and bring most of the humour. The cynical character saves the film from being a sappy, forgettable piece of fluff and makes it something much more human and easy to relate to. Yngve is a man we can understand and eventually grow to love despite his negative and lifeless surface. As racist, cynical, dull and pretentious as Johansson is, I still couldn't help but love him. Great acting which definitely deserved recognition.

I've rambled enough. This is a great movie, not just a "good to be Swedish" type of flick, but a genuinely enjoyable, very well acted, and uplifting movie, carried on the shoulders of Kjell Bergqvist. You should see it. It's accessible to almost anyone and a success on all levels. Definitely one of the few genuinely great Swedish movies released. Ulf Malmros, if you can keep making movies as cute as this instead of trash like Tjenare Kungen, you might have staying power. Great work!


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Details

Country:

Sweden | Denmark

Language:

Swedish | English

Release Date:

8 March 2000 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

A Summer Tale See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Memfis Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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