Everlasting Moments | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Everlasting Moments 

Swede Emotion: Maria deserves a better husband and movie.

Pin It

Watch Maria Heiskanen in Jan Troell’s Everlasting Moments. Watch the small reactions as she plays Maria Larsson, a wife and mother in early 20th-century Sweden whose happilyever-after illusions quickly disappeared as her husband Sigge (Mikael Persbrandt) showed himself to be a womanizer and an alcoholic. Watch as she finds some measure of self-worth in exploring photography, encouraged by a kindly mentor (Jesper Christiansen). Watch closely— because if you don’t, you’ll miss the only real reason to watch the movie at all.

Little distinguishes Troell’s film from a hundred other tales of downtrodden women of an earlier era, and the men who done ’em wrong (and maybe also the nice guys who see their inner beauty). The narrative wanders over a decade through various touchstones—the rise of socialism, World War I, temperance movements— evolving into more a collection of memories by Maria and Sigge’s oldest daughter Maja (Callin Ohrvall) than a compelling story. The focus drifts from Sigge to Maja to Maria as though the editor stepped out for a cigarette and never came back. Ah, but when the focus does drift to Maria, there’s reason to pay attention.

Left on her own by her ailing father after her first attempt to leave Sigge, Maria becomes a picture of resignation. And Heiskanen’s performance is lovely when, in isolated moments, Maria finds herself amazed that she has the soul of an artist, or that anyone might believe that her work has value. She captures pride and fleeting joy in a life short on real options.

That strong center allows Everlasting Moments some measure of success, even as the characters around Maria go through their scripted motions. Sigge in particular is little more than a pathetic, hypocritical brute until it becomes arbitrarily useful for him to be otherwise, while supporting roles serve almost entirely melodramatic functions. Maria deserves better, to be sure—both a better husband, and a better movie.



Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt,
Jesper Christensen
Not Rated

Pin It

Speaking of...

  • Communication Clash

    Gustavo Arellano’s syndicated Ask A Mexican column took on the issue of “proper” Spanish on May 26, with a court-interpreter reader bemoaning ...
    • Jun 1, 2011
  • Letters to Juliet

    True Love: Letters to Juliet is more than a sunny, romantic travelogue.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Ajami

    Crash Course: Ajami creates a vivid, authentic world that’s bleak but not oppressive.
    • Apr 28, 2010
  • More »

More by Scott Renshaw

  • Movie Reviews: New Releases for Nov. 25-27

    Black Beauty, The Croods: A New Age, Uncle Frank and more
    • Nov 25, 2020
  • Star Power

    Melissa McCarthy leans on a different range of talents in the charming Superintelligence.
    • Nov 25, 2020
  • The Gift of Art

    Support creators and organizations that believe in the value of the arts.
    • Nov 25, 2020
  • More »

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Star Power

    Melissa McCarthy leans on a different range of talents in the charming Superintelligence.
    • Nov 25, 2020
  • If the Bootstrap Fits

    With its author's rhetoric toned down, Hillbilly Elegy lacks a point of view
    • Nov 11, 2020
  • The Parent, Trapped

    Kindred literalizes the terror of having no choice in having a child.
    • Nov 4, 2020
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • A Dream Come True

    After half a lifetime, Savannah Ostler's Twice the Dream becomes reality.
    • Apr 17, 2019
  • Simple Creatures

    The monster movie Sputnik can't deliver the subtext it promises
    • Aug 12, 2020

© 2020 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation