Simon and the Oaks Reviews
The theme of Simon and the Oaks is one of reality, and finding our own to reality to live in. Often times, the reality we think we need is not the one we really need. Simon is constantly trying to find someone/something who really understands him. Simon's father represents the far side of the spectrum, the one who tries to bar Simon from living in a reality that is not conducive to the real world. His mother is the guardian, and plays a really central role: she is the one who provides Simon's "real world Oak", a sounding board for him whenever his father was unresponsive to his needs. She is the central key to Simon's struggle, because his moral problem is that he is unwilling to recognize the family he grew up with. His need to escape his father made him turn a blind eye to his mother, no doubt exaggerated by the news that they aren't really his parents. This reality, the one that his foster parents were the ones who really loved and understood him, was something that he was blind to. This, of course, is something the Simon comes to realize.
There were also some good moments when the lighting turned really blue, giving off a very moody feeling. Generally this was when Simon shunned his family, or when we saw his struggles as he tried to find himself.
Overall, it was a good film with some interesting character dynamics. There were some moments when some characters were seemingly left out, such as Isak, which was somewhat baffling because some were major players early on. But it was an interesting take on a story we don't hear much of: the ramifications of the holocaust long after it's over.
Swedish movie about two families, their friendship and common destiny in Sweden's Gothenburg in the 1940s and 1950s during World War II. The movie is told from young Simon Larsson perspective, who learns that he's an adopted child who has a Jewish father from Germany. The story in the backdrop of World War II in Sweden is really simple but what makes this interesting is the heart hitting performance by all the actors. It's just so uplifting to see how a poor father found the son he always wanted in the rich father's son and the rich father found the son he ever wanted at this poor family.
Even though I loved the movie, I have to admit that the movie is much more fascinated when the kids were young. When they grow up, the relationship becomes more complicated and some of the things I didn't like e.g Simon disrespecting his mother. Though Simon was shown self centered from childhood but his leaving his mother behind led to her heart break and ultimate consequences.
The performances by young Simon Jonatan S. Wächter and young Isak Karl Martin Eriksson are tremendous. Bill Skarsgård as adult Simon is great, and how he turned in to the obnoxious ungrateful person is interesting. Helen Sjöholm as Simon's mother and Isak's caretaker is such superb. I loved her portrayal. Stefan Gödicke as father of a poor family and Jan Josef Liefers Karl Linnertorp as father of the rich family are good.
Overall, with stunning performance and cinematography the movie is a treat to watch.