By Andrea K. Hammer
If you are looking for a quirky film experience, the movie Britt-Marie Was Here fills the bill.
Swedish Film Based on the Bestselling Novel by Fredrik Backman
The Swedish film, based on the bestselling novel by Fredrik Backman, is billed as a comedy but weighs in more heavily as a drama. Opening with sparely framed shots by the talented cinematographer Jonas Alarik, one of the most memorable simply shows a wedding ring left on the kitchen table. After a 40-year marriage, 63-year-old Britt-Marie (Pernilla August) has packed a single bag and decided to leave her unfaithful husband.
Actress Pernilla August Captures Britt-Marie’s Stoic Determination
As someone who rarely left her home and was constantly consumed with cleaning, Britt-Marie summons courage by chanting “one day at a time” to herself. In the face of finding a job after years of unemployment, Pernilla August‘s largely stoic facial expressions and squared shoulders capture the character’s determination during the day. Then, when she finally curls up in less than desirable locations at night, the actress powerfully reveals Britt-Marie’s hidden fragility.
Transformative Experience as Soccer Coach and Discussions About Lifelong Dreams
Although she has no experience coaching soccer, the character’s transformation begins when she takes this job at a youth center. Despite the team’s disappointment about her arrival, the young boys slowly form a connection with their new coach who begins to learn about the sport. Some of Pernilla August‘s conversations with the children, particularly about fulfilling lifelong dreams, are some of the most compelling ones in the movie Britt-Marie Was Here.
Budding Romance Reveals the Powerful Ways We Visibly Change Each Other
In an even stronger display of the ways that we change each other, Britt-Marie’s budding romance with Sven (Anders Mossling) visibly alters her face. A first smile that breaks embedded frown lines finally appears after he gives her flowers. After quiet car conversations with stolen glances and pure joy shared during a dance with Anders Mossling, a different woman starts to emerge from behind Britt-Marie’s once-dour mask.
In this movie about fortitude in the face of radical change, this unique character is a reminder that growth and renewal are possible at every stage of life.