The other day I went to another Q&A at Cinemateket. Remembering how interesting it was last time I made damn sure that I was going to grab a good seat for this one. Pernilla August is a Swedish acting legend. She’s the only one in the world that can say that she’s been Darth Vader’s mom, the mother of Indiana Jones and the mother of Jesus Christ. In 1992 she won the Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival for her role in Bille August’s film, Best Intentions (Den goda viljan).
It’s very easy getting carried away when talking about the lovely Pernilla August because she truly has done so much impressive work. She’s done countless of plays including Hamlet and worked with most of the greats of Swedish directors. We’re talking Roy Andersson, Bo Widerberg and no other than Ingmar Bergman.
Now it’s her turn. She came to this Inside the Actors Studio inspired conversation with not only her smile and knowledge. She also brought her debut film as a director, Beyond (Svinalängorna). This film hasn’t premiered yet but has already picked up a lot of festival awards around the world including the Foreign Press Award in Hamburg and a Critics Award in Venice and now after seeing it I understand why.
Beyond is a really heavy drama about family with the soon to be Hollywood Noomi Rapace in the lead. The film is about a woman that finds out that her mother is dying but due to an upbringing where abuse and alcoholism was a daily thing she thinks she can just ignore it and go on with her life. Her husbands pushes her to go see her mom and soon all emotions come pouring out and her history that she has kept secret from her husband surfaces.
You can see what I mean about heavy, right? This is not a film you go see on a Saturday night with a date. You’ll be lucky if you even get a kiss. You’ll be too busy handing her tissues for tears. One thing Pernilla August has without a doubt picked up from her work in films is her composition. Every scene is very nicely framed and shot. The acting is just fantastic. Noomi Rapace really shows why she’s going to Hollywood and even the kid actors in this film are amazing.
The music however threw me off a little and there’s a little to much talking for me to really love it straight through. However, this wouldn’t stop me from going to see it again and as a debut film it’s scary how well made it is so bravo Pernilla August. Beyond hits Swedish movie theaters the 10th of December.