Everlasting Moments (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/05/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Beautifully shot, superbly acted and emotionally engaging drama, though it's extremely slow in places and feels much longer than its 108 minute running time.

What's it all about?
Directed by 77-year-old Jan Troell (widely regarded as one of the masters of world cinema), Everlasting Moments stars Maria Heiskanen as Maria Larsson, a young mother of five, married to drunken, brutish dock worker Sigfrid (Mikael Persbrandt). When Maria wins a camera in a lottery, she decides to pawn it, but kindly photographer Mr Pederson (Jesper Christensen) persuades her to try the camera out first and soon she's taking and developing her own pictures.

As the years pass, Maria develops a close friendship with Mr Pederson, which provokes Sigfrid into a violent rage, despite his own countless infidelities. However, Maria's gift for capturing images brings her a new-found strength and confidence that allows her to stand up for herself and her family.

The Good
The performances are excellent: Maria Heiskanen is outstanding as the downtrodden woman who suddenly begins to see the world through different eyes, while Mikael Persbrandt is genuinely terrifying in his drunken scenes and Jesper Christensen provides a welcome note of quiet humanity as Pederson. There's also strong support from both Callin Ohrvall and Nellie Almgren, who play Maria's daughter Maja (the film's narrator) at different points in her life.

The film is beautifully shot throughout and delivers a strong message about personal integrity and the moments of happiness that come from finding an artistic outlet. It's also a remarkably forgiving film and resists the usual cliches of drunken violent husband melodramas – it's fair to say that the ending isn't the one that countless Hollywood movies and soap operas might lead you to expect.

The Bad
That said, the film is incredibly miserable in places and the painfully slow pacing means that it drags considerably in the middle section.

Worth seeing?
In short, Everlasting Moments is an impressively directed, superbly acted drama that rewards its frequent miserablism with tiny moments of happiness. So, a bit like life then. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Everlasting Moments (15)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 12:29

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