Astrid Lindgren is shown growing up with her parents, a brother and two sisters in the countryside near Vimmerby Sweden on their farm, from age 16 up: going to church, attending dances, helping on the farm. She is offered an internship with the local newspaper after they published her essay. She has an affair with the unhappily married and older newspaper editor. When she becomes pregnant, he sends her to Stockholm for secretarial school. She gives birth in Denmark so as to help him avoid divorce complications. She ultimately decides not to marry him. She falls out with her family over her decision to keep her child and not leave him with his foster mother. She continues working as a secretary in Stockholm in an auto club and finally affords her own flat. When her boy finally comes to live with her, he is several years old. Finally in the end,, she reconciles with her family and they welcome their grandson home to visit.
This film is very comparable with COLETTE. Both are biopics of major women authors who came along just before the great 20th Century advances in the status of women. In both, the repression and intolerance that still prevailed not so long ago are stunning. Both make up for their inability to incorporate very much of the literary contributions of their subjects with excellent production value and period look.
Where COLETTE succeeds readily as a star vehicle, this film surprises by transporting the viewer so thoroughly into 1920s provincial Sweden. The lead actress, Alba August, is in nearly every shot and never disappoints. She reminds me of Lena Stolze or Julia Jentsch. If I had it to do over, I would read up a bit on each subject before seeing the respective movie.
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