Simon and the Oaks Reviews

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
November 13, 2012
Contains more than one emotionally potent scene and never takes the easy shortcuts.
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
November 9, 2012
"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 | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
November 2, 2012
The sheer sincerity of everyone concerned bolsters the whole enterprise so that Ohlin's historical novel-on-film holds us.
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
October 26, 2012
So much is thrown at the audience, it makes it difficult to focus or choose the important points in this sprawling story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 26, 2012
"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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 25, 2012
[A] lush, handsomely crafted middlebrow epic ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
October 25, 2012
Foreign-film comfort food...at its best in exploring the psychology of the adopted.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Brian Orndorf
Blu-ray.com
October 25, 2012
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 | Original Score: B-
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
October 22, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
October 19, 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.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 18, 2012
Poetic, romantic and idealistic, it begins in 1939 and concludes after the end of World War II.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
David DeWitt
New York Times
October 11, 2012
With its exhilarating World War II narrative and performances that touch notes intimate and grand, "Simon and the Oaks" has an exquisite, and epic, ache.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Mark Adams
Screen International
October 10, 2012
Impressively staged, well performed and rich in melodrama.
Diego Costa
Slant Magazine
October 10, 2012
The film is at its best when it lingers on intimacy and the characters' incompetency to manage it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
October 8, 2012
The life of the mind trumps family ties in Swedish coming-of-age tale.
Mark R. Leeper
Mark Leeper's Reviews
October 8, 2012
Though the story does not seem to go into new or even unexpected territory it is engrossing and ultimately affecting.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10

Austin Chronicle
January 22, 2013
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Kimberley Jones
Austin Chronicle
November 9, 2012
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 | Original Score: 2.5/5
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
November 8, 2012
The German occupation barely makes an impression in Lisa Ohlin's sluggish adaptation of Marianne Fredriksson's novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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