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Me and Morrison

A knockout performance by Irina Bjorklund is reason enough to see this Finnish drama about two loners who find each other but realize it's difficult to stop the spiral from continuing downward. At times gritty and rough, and featuring explicit nudity from both leads, pic may not be an easy sell offshore.

A knockout performance by Irina Bjorklund is reason enough to see this Finnish drama about two loners who find each other but realize it’s difficult to stop the spiral from continuing downward. At times gritty and rough, and featuring explicit nudity from both leads, pic may not be an easy sell offshore. Still, it has so many fine qualities that fests and buyers looking for arthouse fare should take a look. In Finland, where it opened in early January, pic has been a big commercial success.

Bjorklund plays Milla, a beautiful young woman who can’t seem to pull herself together and do something with her life. One day, Milla meets and falls for Aki (Samuli Edelmann), and they end up in his bed, above which is a large poster of singing icon Jim Morrison. Next morning, as Milla strolls naked through Aki’s house, she comes across a young boy, Joonas (Roope Karisto), eating breakfast in the kitchen. It turns out Aki is a single father, his wife having died some years earlier.

The affair between Milla and Aki turns passionate, and they soon spend most of their time together or finding fun things to do with Joonas. However, Milla discovers some dangerous secrets in Aki’s life involving a gang smuggling dope from the Baltic states.

Though the plot has thriller aspects, “Me and Morrison” is not a thriller per se. Pic is more of a dramatic character study, showing how two lost souls try to make it together in a world that doesn’t seem to have a place for them.

First-time feature director Lenka Hellstedt turns in an accomplished job, aided by veteran producer Markus Selin. Pacing manages to be rapid without losing the focus on the main characters, whom Hellstedt shows in both positive and negative lights, intermingling comedy and drama.

Hellstedt has two terrific leads in Edelmann and Bjorklund. Latter, who in recent years has played in the Finnish films “Ambush” and “Restless,” looks poised for an international career, with her combo of looks and talent.

Me and Morrison

Finland

  • Production: A Solar Films production, in association with Channel Four Finland. (International sales: Solar Films, Helsinki.) Produced by Markus Selin. Directed by Lenka Hellstedt. Screenplay, Marko Leino, based on the novel by Kata Karkkainen.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Mark Stubbs; editor, Kimmo Taavila; music, Tuomas Kantelinen; art director, Merete Bostrom; costume designer, Minna Kiviranta; sound (Dolby Digital), Pekka Karjalainen. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival (Nordic Competition), Jan. 26, 2002. Running time: 91 MIN.
  • With: <B>With: </B>Irina Bjorklund, Samuli Edelmann, Roope Karisto, Eva Rose, Titta Jokinen, Yorick Van Wageningen, Baltasar Kormakur.
  • Music By: