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Everlasting Moments-Movie Review *** 11/11/2011

Posted by Films to consider in Drama, Emotional Drama, Golden Globes, Guldbagge Awards-Sweden, Highly recommended, Independent Spirit Awards, Movies, Swedish language film.

Everlasting Moments (Swedish) 2008 ***
Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick
From the Criterion Collection
Based on a true story

Among other awards and nominations:
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film, Golden Globes
WINNER, Best Achievement for Music (Matti Bye); Best Actor (Persbrandt); Best Actress (Heiskanen); Best Film; Best Supporting Actor (Christensen), Guldbagge Awards (Sweden)
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Film, Independent Film Awards

Directed by Jan Troell
Starring Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt, Callin Ohrvall, and Jesper Christensen

A loving tribute to the life of Maria Larssons, co-written by relative Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell, who is also the wife of director Jan Troell. Maria (Heiskanen) was the wife of Sigfrid (Persbrandt) and the mother of six children, living in impoverished circumstances in turn of the 20th century Sweden. The story is narrated by Maja (Ohrvall), the oldest daughter of the family.

Before they are married, Maria’s husband is charming and sweeps her off her feet. Afterward, as she continues to bear his children, he is a drunkard and womanizer who tries to keep her servile to his whims. When Maria finds the camera they won in a lottery before they got married, she decides to sell it, but instead strikes up a friendship with Mr. Pedersen (Christensen), a local photographer. He encourages her to use the camera herself. She does and the world she sees through the lenses changes Maria’s life, if not her circumstances.

Although the overall story of Maria’s marriage is sad, her courage and spirit are to be admired. The sepia-toned cinematography and beautiful music add to the ambiance of the film, and at the end I felt like I do at the end of a novel I love, that I don’t want it to end.

The Special Features disc contains some of Maria’s photographs and interviews with still living relatives. Also, I liked this quote from director Troell in his interview (may not be exact): “Set the bar as high as possible because you know you’ll have to compromise.” I haven’t seen any other films by him, but given the opportunity I’d like to.

Highly recommended.
131 min. Not rated. Adult themes.



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