A knockout performance by Finnish actress Linda Zilliacus is the main reason to watch “About Sara,” a drama spread across 10 years (and several partners) in an ambitious young woman’s life. Present in basically every scene, Zilliacus is convincing in a way that almost overcomes the script’s weaknesses. Pic opened locally to mixed reviews, but poor B.O. ; its foreign future lies mostly in sales to TV and DVD.
Sara (Zilliacus) is in her early 20s and lives in Malmo, in the south of Sweden. Her father is dead, and Sara and her mother (Siw Erixon) have been forced to sell the house where they’ve always lived, with daughter reluctantly agreeing to put her confused mom in a hospital.
Sara’s b.f., Kalle (Alexander Skarsgard), is a celebrated soccer player and likes the high life fame brings. He is not pleased when Sara starts to work and enrolls in a course in school; they decide to marry, but it doesn’t last long. Work also destroys Sara’s next relationship, with a colleague, Stefan (Hugo Emretsson), when she gets a senior position he was trying to land.
A few years on, Sara can afford to buy the old house where she and her mother used to liveand she hires a couple of carpenters to renovate the rundown building. Wanting to become a mother, but not necessarily have a man in her life, she invites different guys to her bed in order to become pregnant. At the same time, she and one of the carpenters, Pelle (Alexander Karim), start eyeing one another.
Writer-director Othman Karim and thesp Alexander Karim are the younger brothers of filmmaker Baker Karim, who made “Four Women” some years ago. Othman has been a well-known TV host and directed several shorts and docus. This is his first feature and, though the script has some major flaws (the predictability of the Sara-Pelle romance, and her desire to rebuild the old family house), it’s an enjoyable movie, with Zilliacus shining in a part that forces her to reveal her inner self as well as her body.
Previously seen as the protag’s love interest in Oscar-nommed “Evil,” Zilliacus is a terrific actress, with the ability, in a natural way, to look older and more mature when required. However, it’s the first part of the movie that’s best, with Skarsgard, until now mostly cast as a hunk, getting to play a character who’s angst-ridden.
Technically, film is fine. Malmo hasn’t been used a lot as a location recently, and it’s refreshing to see streets and buildings that seem new.