Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|All Things Fair|
Actors: Johan Widerberg, Marika Lagercrantz, Tomas von Brömssen, Karin Huldt, Nina Gunke
Director: Bo Widerberg
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Military & War
A fifteen year old boy faces dire consequences after beginning a forbidden relationship with his thirty seven year old teacher. Genre: Foreign Film - Swedish Rating: UN Release Date: 27-APR-2004 Media Type: DVD
A Coming of Age Tale for the Characters and the World
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ALL THINGS FAIR (Lust och fägring stor) turned out to be brilliant Swedish writer/director Bo Widerberg's elegy: after a long history of successful and emotionally captivating films, this film was his last. Watching again some twelve years later gives an entirely different level of appreciation for Widerberg's work. This is a little jewel of a film explores human sexuality at the time of puberty and the enormous impact on the way relationships are viewed, while at the same time it presents a keen insight to the world at war and the equally monstrous side effects in myriad ways.
Malmö, Sweden, 1943. A highschool class of boys is discovering the mysteries of body changes and all-consuming effects puberty has one young teenage men. Outside the classroom World War II threatens and inside the classroom puberty threatens. 15 year old Stig (Johan Widerberg) is a handsome, curious lad from a poor family who discovers his first female attraction in the form of his new 37 year old teacher Viola (Marika Lagercrantz), who, despite the impropriety of the situation added to the fact that she is married to a traveling salesman Kjell (Tomas von Brömssen) who spends his idle hours drinking and listening to classical music in the kitchen, returns the seductive dance and soon the two are in a physically involved affair. The beauty and fresh novelty of their feelings is captured in the most magical way with little dialog, many embarrassed glances, and significant risks that eventually include Kjell's discovery of their trysts. But as the two are discovered many changes occur: Stig's beloved soldier brother Sigge (Björn Kjellman) finally goes off to submarine warfare, Viola becomes less involved and senses the problem she has created, Stig falls under the spell of the tragic Kjell learning music and more from this pathetic man, and Stig finally must face the realities of more proper attraction to Lisbet (Karin Huldt) a girl his own age.
The actors are superb, the settings are atmospheric, and the era of the 1940s Sweden is perfectly represented. Part of the joy of the film is the musical score that varies from a Handel aria during moments love making, to Brahms' 'Ein Deutsches Requiem', to Mahler's 5th Symphony 'Adagietto', to Beethoven's 'Grosse Fugue.' Widerberg makes it all work in a misty yet sensuous manner. It is a film to own and one to watch often. In Swedish with English subtitles. Grady Harp, November 07
Realism is no excuse
bookloversfriend | United States | 07/14/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is supposed to be a story about an affair between a high school student and his teacher. The events, feelings and interactions that make up that story are just as real as the other things in this movie, yet the movie gives us only brief glimpses of this relationship which add up to a total of maybe five minutes of this two-hour movie. Such a one-sided selection cannot be justified merely on the grounds of realism.
And since even a Swedish film cannot include everything that must have occurred in the character's life during these months, selection has to occur, and that means that some criteria have to be used to make the selections. There is no excuse for including a ten-minute drunken ramble by the husband. There is also no excuse for spending time on Stig's job at the movie theater. Even if they did not come at the expense of the main story (of the relationship), they would not be justified.
On the plus side, the glimpses we do get of the relationship (brief as they are) are effectively done. There is no teasing with the camera (except for the extreme brevity of the nude glimpses).
Also, the handling of the teenage girl was well done and was probably the most moving aspect of this long film.
Bottom line: it's worth watching if you can get it on a rental or borrow it from a friend.
A diamond in the rough
Pinaki Ghosh | Austin, TX USA | 07/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, in All Things Fair director Bo Widerberg follows the footsteps of great Scandinavian directors like Bergman. Sometimes the movie is surreal and reminds you about the writings of Ibsen but Widerberg's ability to capture the passions in the situation is undeniable. I was recommended this movie by a friend when I told him how I liked Fanny and Alexander. (but they are of different genre but same style of provocation)
When schoolboy Stig (Johan Widerberg) is attracted to his teacher, Viola (Marike Lagercrantz), he makes passes which she accepts and thus starts the romance.She resists in the beginning, but it isn't long before she and Stig are making love, taking advantage of the fact that her husband is a traveling salesman, as she finds the passion in Stig she doesn't get from her hard-drinking, never-home husband.
Now a film like this can only end in unimaginable tragedy, and All Things Fair delivers on that front. Set in 1943 Scandinavia, World War II is a hazy backdrop as director Bo Widerberg (father of Johan), focuses on this small yet incredibly intense drama. It's easy to forget the draggy middle (when Stig befriends Viola's husband and he spends half an hour pontificating before passing out on the table), when all hell breaks loose in the end. The catalyst for the finale is Stig's relationship with Lisbet (Karin Huldt), a girl of his own generation who Stig (like every boy) finally realizes he has a whole lot more in common with. (Prudes and censors be warned, the oft-topless Huldt was just 16 years old when the film was made.) As the saying goes, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and the worst comes out in everyone by the finish.