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Simon and the Oaks (2012)

Simon and the Oaks


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 17
Rotten: 15

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 458


Movie Info

An epic drama spanning the years 1939 to 1952, this is the gripping story of Simon (Bill Skarsgaard), who grows up in a loving working class family on the outskirts of Gothenburg but always feels out of place. He finally convinces his father to send him to an upper-class grammar school, where he meets Isak, the son of a wealthy Jewish bookseller who has fled Nazi persecution in Germany. Simon is dazzled by the books, art and music he encounters in the home of Isak's father Ruben (Jan Josef … More

Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Marnie Blok
In Theaters:
May 6, 2014
Box Office:
The Film Arcade - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Simon and the Oaks

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (15) | DVD (1)

"Simon and the Oaks" branches out in ways unusual and interesting enough to hold your attention and then even shake it a bit.

Full Review… | November 9, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

The sheer sincerity of everyone concerned bolsters the whole enterprise so that Ohlin's historical novel-on-film holds us.

Full Review… | November 2, 2012
The New Republic
Top Critic

"Simon and the Oaks" is not merely the story of two boys from opposite sides of the tracks. It's also a larger meditation on life's hardships and what endures: love, art and civilization.

Full Review… | October 26, 2012
Washington Post
Top Critic

With its fool's-gold cinematography, over-emphatic musical score and self-important protagonist, "Simon and the Oaks" is a puny acorn that dreams it's a towering achievement.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

[A] lush, handsomely crafted middlebrow epic ...

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

It's a warmly done family and personal drama that seems to cover familiar territory, but only up to a point and very much in its own way.

Full Review… | October 18, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Contains more than one emotionally potent scene and never takes the easy shortcuts.

Full Review… | November 13, 2012
East Bay Express

Significant enough to be name-checked in the title, the trees hang over the film, threatening to impose heavy metaphor on what is otherwise a straightforward family saga.

Full Review… | November 9, 2012
Austin Chronicle

The German occupation barely makes an impression in Lisa Ohlin's sluggish adaptation of Marianne Fredriksson's novel.

Full Review… | November 8, 2012
Boston Phoenix

Simon and the Oaks is a lot of things, but above all, it is too much.

Full Review… | November 1, 2012
Paste Magazine

So much is thrown at the audience, it makes it difficult to focus or choose the important points in this sprawling story.

Full Review… | October 26, 2012
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

What starts off as an intriguing coming-of-age story, ends up being a convoluted movie with too many characters having problems.

Full Review… | October 26, 2012
Sin Magazine

Foreign-film comfort its best in exploring the psychology of the adopted.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
Groucho Reviews

Loses steam the longer it tries to articulate uninteresting asides, with the effort's coming of age inclination best served on an intimate scale of unspoken tragedy. Inflating the troubles only emphasizes storytelling shortcomings.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012

Think about climbing a tree instead.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A sensitive character study chronicling the considerable challenge of coming-of-age Jewish with the specter of the Third Reich lurking just over the horizon.

Full Review… | October 22, 2012

Simon and The Oaks covers the various paths taken by a sensitive and smart boy and then young man in his quest for meaning.

Full Review… | October 19, 2012
Spirituality and Practice

Arthouse appreciation will depend on a given viewer's tolerance for broad-strokes melodrama of intertwined fates that lacks the ambition and emotional complications of many similar screen works.

Full Review… | October 14, 2012

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