Dalecarlians (2004) Poster


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A Stranger In Your Own Home
Chrysanthepop5 November 2013
Maria Blom's 'Masjävlar' shows a slice of life at a small Swedish town. The dysfunctional family theme as presented here isn't anything new and the film does tend to border on clichés at times but there's a sincerity with which Blom tells her story. For example, all the scenes of Mia finding herself a stranger in her own home town while at the same time making judgements about others and as it would turn out, no one is who she thought them to be, are narrated very well. Anyone who has returned to their hometown after a very long time will be able to relate to those scenes.

The subtle performance by lead actress Sofia Helin is also very effective and brings out the depth of Mia making her struggle more convincing. Kajsa Ernst and Ann Petren are equally wonderful as the two older sisters who couldn't be any more different. The rest of the cast do a fine job bringing in some humour.

The execution is quite ordinary but the pleasant snowy Swedish landscape is refreshing to look at. The soundtrack is used smoothely. The birthday party track especially stands out as it's filmed beautifully and so many things happen in that scene, both on the surface and within the characters (portrayed very well by the actors).

'Masjävlar' may not be one of its kind and even though it tells a familiar story that has been witnessed various times on screen, there is a freshness about the way its treated and told.
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Dull and disappointing
Enchorde20 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers

Recap: Mia (Helin) is returning home from capital Stockholm to rural Rättvik to celebrate her fathers 70th birthday. She is by far the youngest child, and has two sisters Eivor (Ernst) and Gunilla (Petrén). Eivor has a family and still lives in Rättvik and Gunilla has divorced and moved a town away. Mia is still single and is focused on her career. There are a lot of jealousy and almost animosity between the sisters and conflicts arise all around as they confront each other and each have personal problems they have difficult to handle. As the party goes on (and alcohol consumed), more and more secrets become unveiled and more and more conflicts arise...

Comments: To be the work of a new writer/director it was disappointing to see this movie to follow in the exact same tracks that older Swedish comedy/dramas has been following for years. There are really no new elements or ideas. This movie draws upon three basic areas. 1) Embarrassing humor only based on characters making a fool of themselves. 2) Sorrow and 3) Anxiety. This move has the focus on the last one, almost forgetting the first point as the movie goes along. No loss though, since the humor that is there is not funny. The performances from the cast are good I guess, though it is lost behind all the anguish and soon forgotten. I had hopes that there would be new ideas and influences, but there were none. To conclude, there are better ways to spend one's time than watching this.

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A decently written and directed drama, it got nothing to do with
MovieIQTest23 November 2021
Comedy at all. Tagged this movie as a comedy is as ridiculous as branding a horror genre movie and tagged it also as a comedy. Sophia Helin looked like the younger sister of the late great actress Maria Schell, and she has proved herself a very talented one just like Ms. Schell. I just love to watch both.

This movie is a very traditional Scandinavian movie, but I was a bit putting off by those female characters in it; too many and so many, blabbering all the time, even they acted so naturally. The plot and the scenario are also too common almost in many similar movies from different countries. If you are a male viewer like me, you might need some patience to sit it through to the end, or you might not be able to resist not to use 'Fast Forward" to skip those blah, blah and blah scenes.
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Had Bergman made this, the international attention would've been immediate!
ozjeppe25 December 2005
The tighter the drama, the better the film of sister rivalry! This little gem was mainly promoted as a comedy upon its release in Sweden, so I'm glad to find that wasn't the whole case. Funny bits on small-town bickering are there to enjoy, surely, but the drama takes center stage, as the story progresses. And not just family drama, it also raises poignant questions on respecting differences of peoples' lifestyle choices.

Great character ensemble with many superb and moving dramatic scenes that score credibility points; and they're not just scattershot, but hold everything in place. It just makes me assume that if Ingmar Bergman had made this (the drama would suit him!), the international attention probably would have been immediate.

7 out of 10 from Ozjeppe.
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Amazing directorial debut for Maria Blom
Blaine13 August 2005
This is an incredible film. I can't remember the last time I saw a Swedish movie this layered. It's funny, it's tragic, it's compelling, and most of all it's a slice of Swedish small town life. It crushes the clichés, and dwells deeper. It makes you feel connected, not only to the main characters, but to all the characters.

Big city girl tracing back to her roots, her small hometown, to celebrate her father's 70th birthday, crossing paths with people she hasn't met in several years. Although the story itself isn't unique, it offers a fresh approach. The center of the story is the relationship between three sisters (on different stages in life), who aren't very close. Or at least don't realize how close they are.

One key reason that makes it so easy to connect to the people in this film is the immaculate cast. First, I'm more than pleased about the fact that there are absolutely no so-called 'A-list' Swedish actors in this film. Usually there is a handful of actors that has the ability to find their way into almost every major production in Sweden. This time the production company managed to keep it real by casting actors who actually seem to love their profession. Sofia Helin is probably the first Swedish actress since Eva Röse to prove that you don't need words to convey an emotion.

The writing is also very appealing. The dialogue is more than believable, and compared with other Swedish films from the past year or two, it's ahead by miles. Maria Blom controls everything from the beginning, and if you didn't know, you would never guess that this is her first time writing AND directing a feature length film. I can't wait for her next one.

Once you start watching this, you really want to see it through.
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Terrific on all counts
kmserlin21 October 2005
I saw this at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Hard to believe this is Ms. Blom's directorial debut, it is beautifully paced and performed. Large cast of characters could be out of an Anne Tyler novel, i.e. they are layered with back story and potential futures, there are no false notes, surprising bursts of humor amidst self-inflicted anxiety and very real if not earth-shattering dilemmas. If you saw "The Best of Youth," you will recognize how well drawn the characters are through small moments, even as the story moves briskly along. I really hope this gets distribution in the USA. I live in a fairly sophisticated film market, yet we rarely get Swedish films of any kind.
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Excellent Swedish movie
andreasi6 January 2006
The movie takes place in a little Swedish town where everybody knows each other. Here Mia visits her parent for the birthday of her father, a which occasionally always have some kind of tragedy, the question is just what will it be this year, and you will be surprised... It is an extremely well composed movie, with a story which has a perfect balance of humor and seriousness, which is rarely seen. You get happy, you get hurt, and basically everything in between. Finally you can't help falling in love with Mia(if you are a boy I guess(the main actress)) She is an extremely well chosen actress, as a lot of the other actors/actresses.

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Same old...
kekk5521 August 2005
Maria Blom's debut is not bad, but the this movie is so much alike other Swedish movies in this genre. It seems to be a trend in Sweden now to illustrate the countryside and the cultural difference between the city and the country. In "Masjävlar" Mia represents the city, visiting rural Rättvik after 15 years in Stockholm. Still, this is not a bad movie. It is labeled as a comedy, but the tragic side of it develops gradually. The acting is great, all the three sisters are fabulously portrayed, especially Kajsa Ernst as Eivor. If you haven't seen "Grabben i graven bredvid" or "Såsom i himmelen" this movie will be quite enjoyable, if you have seen them, the situation will seem old.
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Simply the best
johanwikstrom10 February 2005
This is the best movie I've ever seen!

Maybe it's because I live just a few miles from the village were the story take place, and I know how things work out in this area in Sweden. The movie tells the truth, believe me! It both criticizes and honors the lifestyle of Dalarna, and the producer wants people who watch the movie to be more opened minded and care more for your closest friends and relatives.

But if you live in another small village anywhere in Sweden (or another country) you will probably also recognize much from this movie.

Thank you Maria Blom!
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great movie
realrealunreal2 June 2005
Just saw this movie today at the Seattle International Film Festival, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Great writing and direction, excellent and believable interaction among the cast, and great comic timing as well.

This movie touches on themes that are universal-family and separation. As a result, I can see European, Asian, and American audiences all finding points of similarity between this film and their own lives.

If all that wasn't enough, this has the potential to be the best underground date movie of the year...somebody distribute this in the USA, please!

Finally: thank you Maria Flom! It really is a great film.
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