Review: ‘Fourteen Sucks’

A 14-year-old Swedish girl, innately poised but internally wracked by the things 14-year-old girls become internally wracked about, seeks proper social standing in sincere but thematically familiar coming-of-ager "Fourteen Sucks." Kidfests with more mature sidebars could still suck this up, but biz prospects outside Scandinavia aren't promising.

A 14-year-old Swedish girl, innately poised but internally wracked by the things 14-year-old girls become internally wracked about, seeks proper social standing in sincere but thematically familiar coming-of-ager “Fourteen Sucks.” First feature by young Dansk Skalle collective Filippa Freijd, Martin Jern, Henrik Norrthon and Emil Larsson has already played off in Sweden courtesy of a late October 2004 bow and will debut on DVD there April 6. Kidfests with more mature sidebars could still suck this up, but biz prospects outside Scandinavia aren’t promising.

In southern Swedish burg of Helsingborg, life seems about normal for Emma (Elin Ahlberg), who bickers with older brother Markus (Jesper Fridh) and is uncommunicative with her folks and anyone she doesn’t know. Attempting to trade up on social order, she attends an older-skewing party where one of Markus’ friends takes advantage of her while she’s passed out from drinking. As Markus attempts to confirm the culprit’s identity, Emma is drawn to skateboarding loner Aron (Andreas Karoliussen). Despite contempo music and other trappings, feel is familiar, though perfs nicely convey the nervous bravado of youth. Vidshot feature looks pale, though twentysomething helmers keep energy level high.

Fourteen Sucks

Sweden

Production

A Sonet Film release (in Sweden) of a Dansk Skalle production, in cooperation with Film I Skane, Sonet Film. (International sales: NonStop Sales, Stockholm.) Produced, directed, written, edited by Filippa Freijd, Martin Jern, Henrik Norrthon, Emil Larsson.

Crew

Camera (color, DigiBeta-to-35mm), Asa Kostenniemi, Freijd, Jern, Northon, Larsson; music, Freijd, Jern, Norrthon, Larsson; production designers, Kostenniemi, Freijd, Jern, Norrthon, Larsson; costume designer, Kostenniemi. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Kinderfilmfest/14plus), Feb. 15, 2005. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Elin Ahlberg, Jesper Fridh, Bjorn Mansson, Andreas Karoliussen, Katrin Jeppson, Jorgen Duberg, Thomas Hesslow.
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