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Simon and the Oaks

Simon and the Oaks (2012)

tomatometer

57

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

54

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 445

My Rating

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

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Marnie Blok

May 6, 2014

$0.2M

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (15)

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

November 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 13, 2012 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
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.

November 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

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

November 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

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

November 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

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

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
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.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

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

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
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.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com
Blu-ray.com

Think about climbing a tree instead.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
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.

October 22, 2012 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

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

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

With beautiful period trappings and picturesque backdrops, the film doesn't skimp on visual details, though the resulting product is inert.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

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.

October 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

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Foreign Titles

  • Simon (DE)
  • Simon (UK)
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