Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Movie for Your Artistic Side

"Everlasting Moments," showing at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke is the kind of movie that gives the Grandin its shine. It is an homage to a Finnish housewife and mother of (eventually) seven children who finds the artist inside with the discovery of a castoff camera at the turn of the 20th Century.

"Everlasting" is from Swedish director Jan Troell and is subtitled. The story is based on real events and at its center is Maria Larrson (Maria Heiskanen in a marvelously understated performance) whose job description is strictly domestic (my mother always called herself a "household drudge"), but whose unspoken, unrealized and repressed dream is of the artist who looms inside. When she tries to sell her newly-found camera at a small shop, the kindly owner not only talks her out of it, but teaches her how to use the camera, process photos and even throws in the necessary materials.

Maria is married to a philandering, abusive, alcoholic (Mikael Persbrand in a tour de force) who puts her and the children through so much daily hell that when he is jailed, the children beg her to leave him.

This is a story of misplaced loyalty, of budding artistry, of goodness and determination. It is long and slow, but good character studies necesssarily are. And the look, oh, my! It is simply a beautiful movie in every sense.

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