Äideistä parhain (Den Bästa av mödrar) (Mother of Mine) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Äideistä parhain (Den Bästa av mödrar) (Mother of Mine) Reviews

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mvieaddict
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2009
During WWII around 70,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden to be temporarily hosted, while their parents stayed in Finland.The story was touching as it took the viewer through the experiences of one 9 year old child, Eero , who was also sent to Sweden and he must dealt with language differences and his desire to return home.I found this movie to be very emotional and frustrating,because Eero never really had a chance to settle down and found his true family. In the beginning he had to leave his mom behind, to live with his foster parents in Sweden. Signe, the foster mother at the beginning of their relationship was extremely bitter towards him. Once he began to get to know the family, and he fitted in, he felt at home there.Then his mother wanted him to come back to Finland. The movie had wonderful acting, directing and cinematography. The Swedish landscape and the simple lifestyle of these people were brilliantly displayed.
December 29, 2011
Worse Than the Pevensie Children, and No Narnia

The impulse, of course, is to get the children out of danger. This is a good and sensible one, of course. Children die in war, and they are by definition innocent bystanders. Getting them as far away from the bombing as you can is the smart thing to do, though there's always the danger of the rescue ships' being bombed, torpedoed, or otherwise sunk. However, in the '40s, all sorts of people were willing to take the risk, and a lot of children from a lot of places were sent to a lot of other places. Often, it was far away from home to places where they didn't fit in, even to the extent of not speaking the language. And it's true that those children were therefore no longer in danger from bombs. However, there are all kinds of dangers for children, and not all scars are physical. And not all homes away from war are benign or even positive.

Eero Lahti (Topi Majaniemi) is living a happy, quiet life in Finland. However, what is referred to throughout the picture as "the Russkies" are invading. His father goes away to fight in the war and is killed, and his mother, Kirsti (Marjaana Maijala), along with tens of thousands of other Finns, decides to send Eero away to the relative safety of Sweden. Of course, the people taking in children mostly want babies; babies are always the first ones taken. And pretty girls. And surly boys like Eero are the last to go. He ends up on a farm in the middle of nowhere with Hjalmar Jönsson (Michael Nyqvist) and his wife, Signe (Maria Lindqvist), who also want a girl. Because they want to replace their own lost daughter. Eero doesn't want to be there, and Signe doesn't want him there. Hjalmar likes the boy, but Signe finds it hard to connect with him. Meanwhile, in Finland, Kirsti has begun a relationship with a German officer and is starting to consider giving Eero to the Jönssons and going back to Germany with him.

Bad enough for British children send to other parts of the UK. Worse for British children sent to the United States. But poor Eero not only doesn't speak the language, he doesn't speak a language from the same language family. There are Swedes who speak Finnish, but the Jönssons aren't among them. His mother tells him to think of it as a vacation to get him on the boat, but thinking of it as a vacation isn't a good attitude for the farm. If the Jönssons are going to keep him, they are going to get work out of him. That's simply how farms work. Eero feels unwanted, and for part of the movie, that's true as far as Signe is concerned. But even if she wanted him desperately, how would she tell him? She is reduced to trying to read words out of a phrase book so unprepared for their life that it doesn't even have "geese" in it, and his job is to feed them. At that, Eero is used to being in a forest and has now moved to rolling hills. I think his father had been some sort of woodsman.

I think I missed a few nuances because of the subtitling. It didn't make clear when the dialogue was in Swedish and when it was in Finnish, and I think there were some places where that's important. Now, they are very different languages, to the point that I didn't actually need the subtitles for some of the lines in Swedish, but I wasn't always able to be sure when they were spoken, because--and I think this was a universal human thing--languages I don't speak tend to end up almost as a blur of indistinct syllables. I wasn't hearing every word, just a voice making sounds. For most of the movie, Eero is probably speaking Finnish while everyone around him is speaking Swedish, but the subtitles don't make clear when that stops being true. It's an important moment in the boy's life, of course, but it's a moment that goes completely unnoticed if you aren't able to catch the difference in languages. Obviously, the original Swedish and Finnish audiences would know, but English-speaking ones do not.

The film is bracketed by a grown Eero (Esko Salminen) talking to his mother (now Aino-Maija Tikkanen) about the issues he developed in those days. Everyone involved thought the decisions they made for Eero were for the best. His mother could not bear to care for him alone after the death of his father and thought, given the bombings at the time, that Sweden--officially neutral during the war--was the safest place for him. The Jönssons thought they would be providing a safe home for a forlorn child--and then they came to know and love a lonely little boy. It is a matter of some debate whether anyone's ultimate decision was really the best, and certainly it's true that somebody should have told him what was going on, but the goal was to keep him safe. A lot of children came out of the war at lot worse off than Eero did. After all, he still had a mother to take him back at the end and two people in Sweden willing to keep him, and that's three more people than a lot of children had. Still do, come to that.
½ September 27, 2010
What a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking movie!! But very well-made, and superb acting from all the actors involved. The movie revolves around a broken Finnish family during WWII, and the losses they had to endure. It details the complexities of human relationships and the insecurities and abandonment issues that the little boy Eero unfortunately had to face at a very young age. Cinematography was excellent as well.
February 27, 2016
Weepy, sentimental crowd-pleaser.
½ January 8, 2014
If for no other reason than Maria Lundqvist and Topi Majaniemi's stunning performance as a child torn from his mother to live in neutral Sweden during the Second World War. The movie is simplistic in its scope but quite sweeping in its thematic elements. Whether you've lost a child or a parent, this film will tug at your heart by the end of it like few others. Either way, few couldn't relate to this beautiful drama. With its still camerawork and vast oceans, it is a film that I'll not soon forget.
February 14, 2013
Very good movie.Made me cry :(
½ November 8, 2012
A touching film that beautifully portrays the complexities of human relationships...
December 29, 2011
Worse Than the Pevensie Children, and No Narnia

The impulse, of course, is to get the children out of danger. This is a good and sensible one, of course. Children die in war, and they are by definition innocent bystanders. Getting them as far away from the bombing as you can is the smart thing to do, though there's always the danger of the rescue ships' being bombed, torpedoed, or otherwise sunk. However, in the '40s, all sorts of people were willing to take the risk, and a lot of children from a lot of places were sent to a lot of other places. Often, it was far away from home to places where they didn't fit in, even to the extent of not speaking the language. And it's true that those children were therefore no longer in danger from bombs. However, there are all kinds of dangers for children, and not all scars are physical. And not all homes away from war are benign or even positive.

Eero Lahti (Topi Majaniemi) is living a happy, quiet life in Finland. However, what is referred to throughout the picture as "the Russkies" are invading. His father goes away to fight in the war and is killed, and his mother, Kirsti (Marjaana Maijala), along with tens of thousands of other Finns, decides to send Eero away to the relative safety of Sweden. Of course, the people taking in children mostly want babies; babies are always the first ones taken. And pretty girls. And surly boys like Eero are the last to go. He ends up on a farm in the middle of nowhere with Hjalmar Jönsson (Michael Nyqvist) and his wife, Signe (Maria Lindqvist), who also want a girl. Because they want to replace their own lost daughter. Eero doesn't want to be there, and Signe doesn't want him there. Hjalmar likes the boy, but Signe finds it hard to connect with him. Meanwhile, in Finland, Kirsti has begun a relationship with a German officer and is starting to consider giving Eero to the Jönssons and going back to Germany with him.

Bad enough for British children send to other parts of the UK. Worse for British children sent to the United States. But poor Eero not only doesn't speak the language, he doesn't speak a language from the same language family. There are Swedes who speak Finnish, but the Jönssons aren't among them. His mother tells him to think of it as a vacation to get him on the boat, but thinking of it as a vacation isn't a good attitude for the farm. If the Jönssons are going to keep him, they are going to get work out of him. That's simply how farms work. Eero feels unwanted, and for part of the movie, that's true as far as Signe is concerned. But even if she wanted him desperately, how would she tell him? She is reduced to trying to read words out of a phrase book so unprepared for their life that it doesn't even have "geese" in it, and his job is to feed them. At that, Eero is used to being in a forest and has now moved to rolling hills. I think his father had been some sort of woodsman.

I think I missed a few nuances because of the subtitling. It didn't make clear when the dialogue was in Swedish and when it was in Finnish, and I think there were some places where that's important. Now, they are very different languages, to the point that I didn't actually need the subtitles for some of the lines in Swedish, but I wasn't always able to be sure when they were spoken, because--and I think this was a universal human thing--languages I don't speak tend to end up almost as a blur of indistinct syllables. I wasn't hearing every word, just a voice making sounds. For most of the movie, Eero is probably speaking Finnish while everyone around him is speaking Swedish, but the subtitles don't make clear when that stops being true. It's an important moment in the boy's life, of course, but it's a moment that goes completely unnoticed if you aren't able to catch the difference in languages. Obviously, the original Swedish and Finnish audiences would know, but English-speaking ones do not.

The film is bracketed by a grown Eero (Esko Salminen) talking to his mother (now Aino-Maija Tikkanen) about the issues he developed in those days. Everyone involved thought the decisions they made for Eero were for the best. His mother could not bear to care for him alone after the death of his father and thought, given the bombings at the time, that Sweden--officially neutral during the war--was the safest place for him. The Jönssons thought they would be providing a safe home for a forlorn child--and then they came to know and love a lonely little boy. It is a matter of some debate whether anyone's ultimate decision was really the best, and certainly it's true that somebody should have told him what was going on, but the goal was to keep him safe. A lot of children came out of the war at lot worse off than Eero did. After all, he still had a mother to take him back at the end and two people in Sweden willing to keep him, and that's three more people than a lot of children had. Still do, come to that.
March 27, 2011
Mother of Mine is a story about war and love, it's a story about death and mothers. I didn't think I was going to enjoy this movie at the beginning but it ended up being incredible. The acting from Maria Lundqvist was brilliant and she was the one who truly carried the whole movie, every scene that she was in was gripping and remarkable. This is definitely worth a watch!
½ November 11, 2010
Big emotions, beautiful pictures, soothing music score and enjoyable story, although more sad than should be allowed. But so real for many people from that time, so definitely a story that needed to be told.

And Michael Nyqvist really grows on you.... weird....
½ September 27, 2010
What a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking movie!! But very well-made, and superb acting from all the actors involved. The movie revolves around a broken Finnish family during WWII, and the losses they had to endure. It details the complexities of human relationships and the insecurities and abandonment issues that the little boy Eero unfortunately had to face at a very young age. Cinematography was excellent as well.
September 8, 2010
Typical movie on WWII. Truly touching.
½ April 23, 2010
damn, i never cry my heart out like this before. well,i must say, this movie is one of the best. heartbreaking and breathtaking. the story is so simple yet very unforgettable.
½ August 27, 2010
This movie gave me tears cause children are sent to different homes because of war. It's a very sad movie, but enjoyable to watch! I really liked the plot of this story! It's a sad ending though, but at least he realized a lot with the letters... so sad how he.. T_T!! Won't say more, watch it!!
July 27, 2010
This was a powerful and very enjoyable movie!
½ July 19, 2010
Beautiful, well-acted, interesting, intelligent film. :)
May 25, 2010
Another WWII related film from Europe. The weak & thin plot however discounts this already corny melodrama quite a bit. The atypical use of color for flashback memory but B&W for present moment is rare though.
July 18, 2010
heart breaking to say the least...
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