Britt-Marie war hier (Britt-Marie was here, Britt-Marie var här)

star4x4

Sweden 2019
Opening June 13, 2019

Directed by: Tuva Novotny
Writing credits: Tuva Novotny, Anders August, Øystein Karlsen
Principal actors: Pernilla August, Petr Haber, Andrs Mosslingk, Malin Levanon, Stella Oyoko Bengtsson

Britt-Marie war hierBritt-Marie (Pernilla August) has been the perfect housewife for 40 years. She cleans an already spotless house; dinner is always on the table at exactly 6 p.m.; shirts hang washed and ironed.  She seems to have molded into an uninteresting, demanding kind of robot wife with no real emotions. Perhaps it’s not surprising that husband Kent (Peter Haber) is having an affair with a younger woman; anyone would be more appealing. Britt-Marie discovers this infidelity and determines to change her life, which she does to the extreme. Giving up her entire past, she leaves home and ends up in a small-town community called Borg. How to find a job, especially at age 63, after having had no professional job experience? She lives according to her motto “one thing at a time” and eventually lands in a club house on a soccer field. It's a mess – a condition which Britt-Marie recognizes and simply cannot avoid. She begins cleaning up the club house, which leads to acquaintances with the kids and listens to their troubles about winning a soccer game. Although she hated that her husband watched soccer for hours on TV, she becomes a coach and life brightens with unforeseeable goals and appreciation. And this is just the beginning, because “dreams are dreams and life is life,” and they can merge together for the next adventure.  

What a fun film with something for every age group! It is based on the book of the same title by Swedish author Fredrik Backman, who also wrote A Man Named Ove. Both books were exceptionally successful, and after the huge success of the filmed version of A Man Named Ove, it is not surprising that Tuva Novotny strove to film Britt-Marie, her second film as director, after Blind Spot in 2018. Naturally, actress Pernilla August is excellent, but equally good are the seven young actors who play the soccer team members.  Every viewer will recognize something of him/herself in this heartfelt film. (Becky T.)