Simon and the Oaks - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Simon and the Oaks Reviews

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September 25, 2016
Well made Swedish WWII film with good cinematography and production design. I wish it had a bit more emotional pull, but maybe a second viewing down the road will endear it more to me.
June 30, 2016
good period pic-gr8 story
January 3, 2016
January or February 2012after Palm Spring and At Landmark's suggestion.
½ December 26, 2015
The first half was good but this was too many movies crammed into one.
November 1, 2014
Great movie for a cold day.
August 13, 2014
Lovely and very touching!
June 1, 2014
Pastoral, introspective, reflective and meditative with a gorgeous classical music score -- it's a human story and a slice of life. Excellent film! Interesting shots of Swedish life from a bygone era.
June 7, 2013
pocahontas ambientato in svezia durante e dopo la seconda guerra mondiale
December 28, 2012
Well-intentioned but flawed. Moves slowly, and doesn't really retain your attention.
November 27, 2012
Simon and the Oaks opens with a peaceful setting, but there is heavy foreboding to it as we see the loving embrace of his mother. This sets up the whole internal conflict for Simon: him trying to find understanding and love from those who matter.

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.
½ November 14, 2012
Beautifully filmed, wonderful story and a good depiction of Sweden during the World Wars. Not so neutral that history today portrays. Stripped, beautiful and a great cast.
½ November 12, 2012
Another poor choice from the GSC EU film festival 2012 and What a huge disappointment it was considering all the good critic reviews and many nominations this film has garnered. Good cinematography and an unconventional storyline, do not hide a poorly made script coupled with disastrous acting by some of the actors, where things are unveiled halfway and just disappear without the proper follow-up they deserve. Another aspect that made this movie worse is that there are more and more cliches plus nonsensical actions taken by the characters as we go further towards the ending. How an adulterous relationship, conflicting parental upbringing managed to not wrecked two families' relationship for so long, how a rich well-known Jew did not find a need to go into hiding but instead spent his time prying into another families' business, the sudden ignorance of a troubled child who after that miraculously became a normal adult and how a Holocaust survivor from one of the worst concentration camps behave in such manner were completely off the mark, and I think I am probably glad to be saved from wasting my time on the novel, assuming this movie is faithful to its source material.
November 3, 2012
Fabulous and excellent cinematographic language. Definitely a must see!
November 1, 2012
Really interesting and personal story about a place/time that many of us know little about. Coming of age and romance, a little good in a world of war.
October 10, 2012
Sometimes fantasy, or in this case, history, is the best place to live in this cruel world. Or is it?
July 3, 2012
Simon och ekarna - Simon & the Oaks - CATCH IT (A-)
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.
June 2, 2012
Pity that a such a great book became so boring as a film. Very good performances by all the actors but still very boring....
½ May 19, 2012
Interesting historically given Sweden's neutrality in WWII, and the actor as young Simon does a remarkable job given a role with little dialog and lots of emotion to be conveyed. Somewhat convoluted family and love relationships (does that go without saying in Swedish films?) but at least they're revealed in a way that you can keep track of them. There are more-than-necessary mood shots which make the film seem much longer than it is, and the first 2/3rds are much more interesting and satisfying than the post-war conclusion.
May 2, 2012
Simon grows up in a working class family, and his thirst for knowledge doesn't impress his father, but luckily he meets someone else who shares his interests...
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