Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sometimes Life Feels Like An Enormous Porridge.

That's right, two Swedish films in as many months. Who would have thunk it?

(I'm still going to kind of run through these - I'm still five behind. Seriously, get your shit together. This one, Lantana, Memento, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and Easy Rider. And I have two on my plate for today. Hopefully I'll be caught up in my write-ups in the next day or two.)

Lukas Moodysson's 2000 film Tillsammans (Together) is set in Sweden in 1975. It's about a group of people living in a hippy commune in the suburbs, in their own independent relationships in theory but with the freedom to love around should they so wish. Göran (Gustaf Hammarsten) is the ostensible leader of the group, and things start to go awry when his sister Elisabeth (Lisa Lindgren) is beaten by her husband Rolf (Michael Nyqvist) and needs a place to stay, bringing along her two young children Stefan and Eva.

Elisabeth, Stefan and Eva have all lived a normal life, so being thrown into a world where other children are called Tet and Moon, there is no television, they don't eat meat, and property is meaningless (not to mention that when the enter for the first time, Anna is standing in the kitchen without pants on to air out a fungal infection and Lasse (Ola Rapace - hot) has just removed his in protest) kind of knocks them for six. With voluntary concessions from Göran, however, and a realisation from Elisabeth that the freedom the house entails can be amazingly liberating, plus the children realising that they can actually use the commune's own protest-oriented ways to get what they want, the family actually begins to enjoy themselves.

It's a nice little look at family, at how they interact and how they can fall apart - not just blood family, but those people you surround yourself with who often come to feel like the true and proper urban family you need. Funny and moving, it's a sweet film, set in history so that the politics don't offend the modern truth that this may actually be true love. 3.5 stars.

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