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Everlasting Moments [Blu-ray] [Criterion Collection]

  • NR
  • Blu-ray
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • In this breathtaking film from renowned Swedish director Jan Troell, a woman experiences an artistic awakening after being introduced to photography. Based on real-life events, the story opens at the start of the 20th century and centers around Finnish housewife Maria Larrson (Maria Heiskanen). Maria spends her days struggling to care for her large brood of children and trying to manage her abusive, alcoholic husband, Sigge (Mikael Persbrandt). Sigge is a dockworker, and when he isn't dabbling in Socialist politics, he's parading around town with various women, then returning home in a drunken stupor to beat Maria and the children. Maria suffers many harsh indignities, but her world is changed forever the day she tries to pawn an old camera she won in a lottery. The owner of the camera shop is a kindly gentleman named Sebastian (Jesper Christensen), and instead of buying the camera, he insists Maria try it first. Maria takes his advice, and the effect is instantaneous: she is hooked on the power of the pictures. She begins to take portraits of the townspeople and the harsh world around her, and her newfound talent suddenly infuses her with confidence and awakens an inner passion. Sigge rails against this bold new change in her and becomes more abusive, threatening to kill her and destroy her camera. But Maria defies him and continues to take pictures, eventually developing an intimate friendship with Sebastian.

    Troell does a magnificent job re-creating the time period, and while many of the film's images are rather harsh and painful to take in, they are also fascinating and beautiful in their realism. Persbrandt delivers an excellent performance, and Heiskanen is phenomenal as the unstoppable Maria. Despite the bleak world the characters inhabit, the film is ultimately a moving affirmation of life's beauty and the strength of the human spirit.
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  • Credits
    Mikael Persbrandt, Amanda Ooms, Ghita Norby, Maria Heiskanen, Jesper Christensen
  • Critic Reviews
    4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Troell continues to immerse viewers in the daily lives of his characters by filling his films with vibrant reconstructions of the changing times.....Troell has made an engrossing exploration of what he describes as creativity in service of survival."
    Box Office

    "[T]his movie unspools at a leisurely, episodic pace, dwelling on the details of domestic life with a care that is both naturalistic and nostalgic."
    New York Times

    "This exquisite film by the Swedish master Jan Troell is about seeing clearly, and fearlessly. It's also about subdued passion, the birth of an artist and a woman's struggle to live her own life."
    Wall Street Journal

    "EVERLASTING MOMENTS is a rich, intensely human story that deals with the mysteries of creativity and love and the pain and joy of relationships."
    Los Angeles Times

    4 stars out of 4 -- "Rarely is there a film that evokes our sympathy more deeply than EVERLASTING MOMENTS. It is a great story of love and hope, told tenderly and without any great striving for effect."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "For the first time, the lo-fi purity of Swanberg's style is a conduit to something that transcends youth....An exploration of how the spaces between people can separate them or join them, often at the same moment." -- Grade: A-
    Entertainment Weekly

    "[An] epic family melodrama set in early-20th-century Sweden. Based on a true story, the movie centers on a Finnish-born wife and mother whose serendipitous possession of a camera leads to her own quest for personal autonomy."
    Washington Post

    4 stars out of 5 -- "[D]irector Jan Troell brings to it a gentle warmth that keeps it absorbing."
    Total Film

    Included in Entertainment Weekly's "The Best Films Of The Year" -- "Troell captures flickering emotions about love and loss, feminine responsibilities and feminist awakening..."
    Entertainment Weekly

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