BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE (2019)
Starring Pernilla August, Peter Haber, Anders Mossling, Lancelot Ncube, Malin Levanon, Olle Sarri, Mahmut Suvakci. Directed by Tuva Novotny. (97 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM COHEN MEDIA GROUP
Review by Fluffy the Fearless😸
Since the tragic death of her more free-spirited sister when they were children, Britt-Marie’s (Pernilla August) entire life has been fueled by routine. She makes daily to-do lists, does the shopping, cleans the house and cooks for her husband of 40 years, Kent (Peter Haber). It’s not-so-much a loving relationship as it is a comforting one. Being reliable, efficient and organized is how she defines happiness.
Then life throws her a curveball. Britt-Marie learns Kent has been having an affair and subsequently leaves him. But starting over at 63 is daunting, especially since she hasn’t worked an actual job since getting married. The only thing available is temporary position at a rundown rec center in the small town of Borg. She’s also expected to coach the youth soccer team, despite her lowly opinion of the game – likely because Kent appeared to care more about soccer than his own marriage. The community, of course, is dumbfounded by all this.
|"Fine. I'm taking my ball and going home."|
Plotwise, Britt-Marie was Here isn’t exactly brimming with surprises. It follows a narrative pattern similar to many American sports comedies: A reluctant coach forced to guide a scruffy bunch of underdogs, finding purpose and self-respect along the way. This one is more bittersweet in tone, but generates a lot of the same warm fuzzies. Much of that is due to the performances, especially August in the titular role. Despite appearing joyless throughout most of the film, Britt-Marie is an likably-engaging character. Stubborn, vulnerable and always uncertain of her decisions, she’s easy to empathize with. Surrounding her is a variety of interesting secondary characters, such as potential love-interest, Sven (Anders Mossling), who’s nearly as insecure as Britt-Marie.
A charming spin on a familiar premise, Britt-Marie was Here is an understated, congenial little gem. A film without massive highs or lows, the personal victories are small, but no less important to its characters and just as enjoyable for the viewer.
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS.