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Simon and the Oaks Reviews

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

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

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

November 13, 2012
Kimberley Jones
Austin Chronicle

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 Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/5

November 9, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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"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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B-

November 9, 2012
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix

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

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 8, 2012
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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The sheer sincerity of everyone concerned bolsters the whole enterprise so that Ohlin's historical novel-on-film holds us.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

November 2, 2012
Jeremy Mathews
Paste Magazine

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

Full Review Source: Paste Magazine | Original Score: 6.8/10

November 1, 2012
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

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

Full Review Source: Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN) | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 26, 2012
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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"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 Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 26, 2012
Austin Kennedy
Sin Magazine

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

Full Review Source: Sin Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 26, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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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 Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2/4

October 25, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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[A] lush, handsomely crafted middlebrow epic ...

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

October 25, 2012
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 25, 2012
Brian Orndorf

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 Source: | Original Score: B-

October 25, 2012
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Think about climbing a tree instead.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 25, 2012
Kam Williams

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 Source: NewsBlaze | Original Score: 3/4

October 22, 2012
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

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 Source: Spirituality and Practice

October 19, 2012
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 18, 2012
Alison Willmore
AV Club
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With beautiful period trappings and picturesque backdrops, the film doesn't skimp on visual details, though the resulting product is inert.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C

October 18, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Poetic, romantic and idealistic, it begins in 1939 and concludes after the end of World War II.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 18, 2012
Brent Simon

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 Source: | Original Score: C

October 14, 2012
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