Under The Sun is a wonderful Swedish film about a lonely farmer, his slightly shady best friend and the beautiful, but mysterious, woman who steps into their lives.
The movie, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film in the 2000 edition of the Oscars (Spain’s All About My Mother took home the prize), is a gorgeously shot love story and character study that’s as sweet as honey.
Ostensibly, the plot sounds a little pulpy, almost noirish, but that’s the furthest thing from the reality. While this is a story about love, friendship and trust, it’s also about growing up — Olof is a 40-year-old virgin who can’t read or write, and the ad is his attempt to finally meet a woman.
Every scene is beautifully photographed — it seems as though a golden hue shimmers over each frame — and superb attention has been paid to making the sets and costumes look authentically period. English director Colin Nutley does such a fine job of gradually unfolding the story and immersing us in Olof’s world that it makes the film’s nearly two-hour runtime feel much shorter.
All of the performances impress. Lassgard makes a particularly likeable hero; he’s so shy, sweet and awkward that you can’t help but root for him. Bergstrom and Widerberg are perfectly enigmatic; both alternatively seem to be protecting and using Olof, and you won’t know the truth until near the end of the film.
Sure, Under The Sun may sound a little familiar. But it accomplishes what so many other Hollywood films of its ilk fail to do — and that’s make you feel good.
Subtitles:VobSub English & Chinese