Epic story about two families and their friendship and common destiny in Sweden's Gothenburg in the 1940s and 1950s. Told from the perspective of young Simon Larsson, who learns that he's an adopted child who has a Jewish father from Germany. After WWII Simon travels to explore his roots - a journey that leads to the basic mysteries of the human life. After the bestselling novel by Marianne Fredriksson. —Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv
Terrific Family Saga
One of the many virtues of this outstanding film is the complexity of its characters. No one is purely good or bad. Good people make horrendous mistakes. Nature versus nurture has a huge role to play in individual and family lives. Another major virtue is the acting: I did not experience a single false note in any of the performances. Kudos also to the writer and director for the way World War II and the Holocaust are embedded in the story: realistically but without clichés. I found extremely interesting Simon's relationship with the oak tree and would have liked just a bit more of it throughout the movie, rather than most of it at the beginning, where it is hugely intriguing but ineffable. My only (very minor) complaint is the music, which I found at some critical points to be overbearing; I prefer it when the acting carries the day without the audience having to be signaled as to the importance of a certain action or moment. I was totally riveted through the entire film—for me, it doesn't get much better than that.
- Nov 5, 2012
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