5 user 11 critic

A Serious Game (2016)

Den allvarsamma leken (original title)
An adaptation of Hjalmar Söderberg's novel "The Serious Game" from 1912. The great Swedish love story.


Pernilla August


Hjalmar Söderberg (novel), Lone Scherfig
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sverrir Gudnason ... Arvid Stjärnblom
Karin Franz Körlof ... Lydia Stille
Liv Mjönes ... Dagmar Randel
Michael Nyqvist ... Markel
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard ... Carl Lidner
Sven Nordin Sven Nordin ... Markus Roslin
Richard Forsgren Richard Forsgren ... Lovén
Göran Ragnerstam ... Anders Stille
Staffan Göthe ... Stjarnblom
Sophie Tolstoy Sophie Tolstoy ... Fröken Zeijlon
Thomas Segerström Thomas Segerström ... Cedergren
Peter Larsdotter Peter Larsdotter ... Petterson
Pelle Sandberg Pelle Sandberg ... Mr. Randel
Ia Langhammer ... Mrs. Randel
Malin Persson Malin Persson ... Felicia


Once Lydia was the innocent girl - a daughter of a painter - that young journalist Arvid fell in love with out in the archipelago. Or did he? Did he fall in love with the idea of what love is supposed to be? In its clearest, most untainted form. The beauty of love, the match made in heaven, the love at first sight. Arvid feels that he wants to make an importance in the world and make a clear break from his social background. His ambition stands in the way of marriage and the love slips away. A decade has past since they first set eyes on each other. Now both are married. Yet not with each other. They meet again and end up having an affair. An affair that forces the couple to reflect upon the time passed, how different they both have become and how far away from each other they actually are. The consequences of their affair are unforeseeable. In the hands of Lone Scherfig one of the most celebrated stories of Swedish literature have become a heartbreaking, humorous and erotic tale ... Written by The Producers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Did You Know?


Based on Hjalmar Söderberg's novel (1912) with the same name. See more »


Version of Den allvarsamma leken (1945) See more »

User Reviews

Ignore the bad reviews - this is a subtle telling of an obsessive love
17 February 2021 | by seagull_2006See all my reviews

I liked this film ( stumbled upon by accident on Netflix ). I fail to understand it's critical reviews and accusations of bad acting and lack of passion . One critic ( not on here ) even criticised the lead actor for being "pale and slack shouldered" and being the antithesis of an American hero !! (Thank God for that )

To all the negative reviewers both here and on other sites - I don't agree! Yes, the film has a Scandinavian calm and subtlety about it which some viewers used to frenetic and " in your face " Hollywood movies might not understand. It has a mysterious ambient quality , reflected in the piano score and beautiful artistic shots of nature and of the city and the decor in the houses .

It's true the film isn't focused on red hot sex , and if this is what you're expecting then you'll be disappointed. But I did feel the main actors were excellent in their portrayal of an illicit love. Let's remember these are Scandinavians and maybe they're not going to be as excitable and overtly passionate as maybe other nationalities, but I felt their restraint and outward control while clearly struggling internally with jealousy ( especially the lead man ) were more convincing for this.

Give this film a go, ignore the negativity and you might be pleasantly surprised .

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Release Date:

9 September 2016 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

A Serious Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary


Box Office


EUR5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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