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A Song for Martin (2002)

A Song for Martin


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 23
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Grueling but honest depiction about the ravages of Alzheimer's. Yep, it's a downer.

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 10
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: Grueling but honest depiction about the ravages of Alzheimer's. Yep, it's a downer.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,043


Movie Info

Famous composer Martin meets concertmaster Barbara at one of his performances, and the two fall in love. After divorcing their spouses, Martin and Barbara marry and begin a happy life together. Five years later, as the couple are working on a new opera, Martin is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. As Martin's condition worsens and his personality changes, the couple strain to hold on to the love that once brought them together.

PG-13 (for sexuality, thematic elements and some language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Bille August , Ulla Isaksson
In Theaters:
Aug 12, 2003


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Critic Reviews for A Song for Martin

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (4) | DVD (4)

August ... steers this story to its stirring conclusion with firm lack of sentimentality.

Full Review… | July 19, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

It may sound like a mere disease-of- the-week TV movie, but A Song For Martin is made infinitely more wrenching by the performances of real-life spouses Seldahl and Wollter.

Full Review… | June 6, 2003
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Full of unforgiving irony and quiet realism, A Song for Martin stands as a powerful and moving achievement.

August 31, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

More honest about Alzheimer's disease, I think, than Iris.

Full Review… | July 19, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Viveka Seldahl and Sven Wollter will touch you to the core in a film you will never forget -- that you should never forget.

Full Review… | July 18, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The movie, for all its sincerity, becomes clinical and repetitious, though its unsparing vision of the fragility of identity can give you a shudder.

Full Review… | July 11, 2002
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Upsetting and thought-provoking, the film has an odd purity that doesn't bring you into the characters so much as it has you study them.

Full Review… | November 15, 2002

It's so downbeat and nearly humorless that it becomes a chore to sit through -- despite some first-rate performances by its lead.

Full Review… | October 18, 2002
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Director-writer Bille August ... depicts this relationship with economical grace, letting his superb actors convey Martin's deterioration and Barbara's sadness -- and, occasionally, anger.

Full Review… | October 18, 2002
Salt Lake Tribune

Martin and Barbara are complex characters -- sometimes tender, sometimes angry -- and the delicate performances by Sven Wollter and Viveka Seldahl make their hopes and frustrations vivid.

Full Review… | August 15, 2002
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A delightfully simple, splendid love story between two older people ... a journey of life and love you won't want to miss.

Full Review… | August 1, 2002

An extraordinary Swedish film about the soul adventure of marriage -- the kind of intimate and character-driven film that Bille August does best.

Full Review… | June 28, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

A touching examination of the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.

Full Review… | June 27, 2002
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Painful to watch, but viewers willing to take a chance will be rewarded with two of the year's most accomplished and riveting film performances.

Full Review… | June 11, 2002
Film Journal International

A wrenching film about a romance between two people in their fifties, shattered when one becomes the victim of Alzheimer's disease.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002

August -- a pupil of Ingmar Bergman's -- manages to tell a tragic tale while avoiding the heavy-laden angst of a Bergman film.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for A Song for Martin

A very well acted, written, & directed film about a romance fighting a losing battle with an untreatable disease. The film itself is slow paced, but heavy on emotions since it addresses the progressive deterioration of the man's health, and it's crippling effect on him and his family. Even though the two met and fell in love while they were married to other people, you still feel bad for what they endure throughout the film. The two lead actors, and the supporting cast, did a great job to make this production a memorable one.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

This one was tough to watch, as a man who had been a brilliant composer slowly succumbed to Alzheimer's and his wife tried her best to keep him going. Absolutely brilliant portrayal by Steven Wollter as Martin and Viveka Seldahl as Barbara. The supporting cast was excellent and the emotions were never far from the surface. The music was divine. An altogether well done film.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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