A bravura performance by top Swedish actor Gosta Ekman and lots of black humor make this darkly funny story about an alcoholic the most accessible movie so far by the thesp's spouse, writer-director Marie-Louise Ekman. But outside Sweden it will be a hard sell. Pic is based on the life of Marie-Louise's father, a famous PR consultant who died a few years ago. A workaholic and an alcoholic, he went through several breakdowns, failed marriages and hospitalizations.
Ekman uses the material to tell the story of a man who tries to keep all the ingredients of his life in balance — his former marriage, his latest marriage, his kids and his work. When things become too much, he hits the bottle. No one says he is drunk; instead, in a hushed voice, they say, “Dad is tired and emotional again.”
Ekman has avoided the extreme stylization which in the past often proved too much for viewers, opting instead for a more realistic approach that will make the pic more accessible to general auds.
The main asset, though, is Gosta Ekman’s performance. He’s literally in every scene of the film, and once again demonstrates why he is considered one of the finest Swedish actors of the past few decades.
Tech credits are fine, with ace cameraman Peter Mokrosinski’s work deserving special mention.