Stockholm East - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stockholm East Reviews

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December 28, 2015
Filofaxfrämling på tåg. Komplicerad romans. Skuld, hemligheter och lögner. Höstlik stockholmsskildring med inslag av Kentvideoestetik.
July 19, 2014
Maybe it is the heat wave, slight home sickness or just a Saturday evening but somehow the cool scandinavian autumn with colours and Persbrandt made me feel happy, despite the horrible theme of the film. I liked it, liked the soundtrack and the whole emotional feel of it.
May 21, 2013
Great drama. Love against all odds.
January 3, 2013
i dont like weak characters choosing easy ways out... Deep topic
½ September 23, 2012
The loss of a child is possibly the heaviest subject for an intimate drama. There is a great risk in a story that is so charged with emotion, but some storytellers have managed to create honest and powerful pieces from this premise, most recently director John Cameron Mitchell with "Rabbit Hole".

Simon Kaijser's "Stockholm stra" explores many of the same themes as Mitchell did in his indie masterpiece. The void a child leaves, the impossible grief. The guilt of a person who accidentally drives over an innocent young child.

Pernilla Oljelund's script approaches these difficult motifs directly. We see the accident itself in the beginning of the movie and start living with the characters straight from that moment on. And what characters they are! The script builds them throughly, giving a completely perfect cast the perfect tools to work with. Mikael Persbrandt shines as Johan, the man who runs over Tove, the daughter of Anna, played by bafflingly magnificent Iben Hjejle, and Anders (Henrik Norln).

There is a twist to an old story: Anna never goest to the trial and doesn't know who Johan is. Johan gets engulfed by his guilt and starts following Anna with a desperate need to atone for his sin. Fate or contrivance brings the characters ever closer to one another. They form a deep friendship, then a passionate affair. They both need the affair, and they both need to hold on to their lies: Anna needs to pretend to Johan that Tove is still alive, Johan needs to pretend to Anna that he didn't kill her.

Kaijser holds a superficially twisted setup together perfectly. We believe what is happening, we even believe the character's lie when they are together, almost letting ourselves to be lulled by the hope that the truth will never come out. The visual storytelling is ambitious and beautiful. The enchantment of the lies is futher accentuated by the dreamlike, magically lit visuals in Anna and Johan's scenes together.

"Stockholm stra," despite its bold twist, is not a completely perfect movie like "Rabbit Hole," but it comes pretty near. This is raw and wise drama at its best, stemming from the characters, utilizing immense acting talent and provoking thought through intense and believable emotion.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2012
Persbrandt becomes romantically involved with Hjejle, unbeknownst to her he is the driver who killed her young daughter in a road accident.
Hitchcock has De Palma, Sirk has Todd Haynes, now Wong Kar-Wai has Simon Kaijser. De Palma and Haynes donn't have to deal with any cultural differences when aping their idols but Stockholm and Hong Kong may as well be on two different planets culturally. Kaijser goes to such lengths with his homage that the movie becomes laughable. The "philosophical" voiceovers, neon lighting, use of a key location, time distorting camera tricks and culturally contrasting music all fall flat here. It's hard to imagine any European saying a line of dialogue like "I think of you from the moment I wake till I fall asleep at night", least of all a Scandinavian. Even Kar-Wai struggled himself when he went to America to make "My Blueberry Nights", a movie that just seemed ridiculous when featuring white people.
The two central actors are far too good for the awful dialogue they're forced to speak. Danish actress Hjejle may be recognisable to mainstream viewers as John Cusack's girlfriend in "High Fidelity". It's strange how she never got more work stateside.
Per Kallberg's cinematography is far too good for a movie of this quality, nicely capturing the colors of a Swedish autumn in a way we rarely see. Scandinavia is a beautiful part of the world but few of it's film-makers seem interested in presenting it so. This is one of those movies best enjoyed with the sound turned down, or in this case, the subtitles off.
March 30, 2012
I saw this film about a month ago, but Rotten Tomatoes hadn't included it on their site. I requested they added it, and so here it is. Now, if I'd been clever, I'd have written my review and saved it on my computer to post when the film finally appeared on this site.... but I wasn't clever. So here is what I remember:

A man, in a moment of stupidity, hits a young girl with his car, killing her. Guilt-wracked, he goes to seek forgiveness of the parents - only he cannot say it, and he falls in love with the mother - and the mother him... The emotional twists and turns of this narrative are handled with aplomb, the cast very convincing with the troubling material. Iben Hjejle was very good indeed as the mother. It is certainly a film I'd recommend to any lovers of world cinema.
½ March 22, 2012
Een behoorlijke film met vooral een sterk verhaal. Op het eerste zicht lijkt hij voorspelbaar, maar af en toe word je als kijker toch op een leuke manier op het verkeerde been gezet.
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