Everlasting Moments (15)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue May 19 2009

Just as Terence Davies’s sublime ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’ crystallised the comforting, co-op spirit evoked by the Hollywood musical on the lives of postwar Liverpool’s working classes, so Jan Troell’s similarly spellbinding ‘Everlasting Moments’ illustrates how the miracle of photography offers fleeting respite to the blue-collar matriarch of a sizeable brood in turn-of-the-century Malmö.

Maria Heiskanen plays Maria Larsson, doting mother to seven and wife of fractious, constantly inebriated lunk Sigge (Mikael Persbrandt). She discovers a talent for taking photographs when trying to pawn a Contessa camera won in a local lottery, and is urged by the shop assistant to give the contraption a whirl before selling it. As Sigge administers regular bouts of abuse and relies on brute force to dodge accusations of infidelity, political dissidence and general folly, Maria secretly begins to snap her surroundings. From the set-up, you’d expect the film to skip down a conventional narrative path where Maria’s newfound talent leads directly to empowerment, happiness and a measure of independence, but it tactfully avoids the allure of cliché to concentrate on a more profound and rational story, one just as interested in family and community dynamics as it is in the difficulty of expressing oneself artistically.

As a portrait of a genuinely ‘good’ person, Heiskanen’s nuanced, deeply affecting performance recalls Imelda Staunton in ‘Vera Drake’, her reserved and intensely pragmatic façade occasionally slipping away to reveal an inner passion that – in the social context – must be suppressed at all costs. And while Persbrandt’s Sigge is very much the ogre of the piece, his charismatic turn plays on the inner complexities of a character who constantly teeters on the cusp of redemption, but never quite manages to come to terms with feelings of envy and bitterness towards his saintly spouse. Ambitious and stately while never stooping to maudlin hysteria, Troell’s film meshes scenes of high drama and silent contemplation while the milky, sepia-toned Super16 photography lends the images an exquisite, tactile quality.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri May 22, 2009

Duration:

111 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Jan Troell

Cinematography:

Jan Troell, Mischa Gavrjusjov

Cast:

Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt, Jesper Christensen

Screenwriter:

Niklas Rådström

Music:

Matti Bye

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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MadAboutFilm

The best film I've seen in a long time. Very endearing cinematography, superb acting and a fantastic subject matter. Vey highly recommended. Sci-fi and Hollywood action-film fans should ignore this comment.

MadAboutFilm

The best film I've seen in a long time. Very endearing cinematography, superb acting and a fantastic subject matter. Vey highly recommended. Sci-fi and Hollywood action-film fans should ignore this comment.

Phil Ince

I found it hard to see the point of this. Much may be lost in translation but it only felt like a 'paraphrase' of incidents from a novel about life in the pre- and post-Great War period. No element of the story was sufficiently prominent or significant that I could fathom anyone's reason for wanting to tell me about it. Despite the heroine's noble suffering, I wasn't moved. A woman in a very difficult marriage rediscovers a camera won in a raffle. The winning of the camera was the spur to her marrying her husband. She develops a passion for photography and a business in portraiture. Her wayward (albeit generally industrious) husband objects, both to the camera and to her chaste but clearly potent relationship with the older owner of a camera shop. The film ends in reconciliation; husband and wife seem set to restore a modest and dilapidated country cottage; the photographer moves away. Neatly done (though something about the make-ups gave it an unhelpfully modern look). Competent but undistinguished.