The sixteen year old Agnes Ahlberg has been living in the small Swedish town of Åmål with her family for one year and half, but she has no friends. She secretly loves her popular school mate Elin Olsson, a girl bored with the lack of perspective of Åmål. At Agnes’s birthday party, Elin kisses her and changes their lives. —IMDb
With his first two feature efforts, Fucking Åmål (1998) and Together (2000), Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson earned a strong following for his acute, gentle sense of social satire and his remarkably well-drawn and sympathetic characters. Though his third feature, the soul-shredding Lilja 4-Ever, marked a notably dark turn in terms of content for Moodysson, his sense of characterization was perhaps stronger than ever, and the stark tale of a young Russian girl forced into prostitution gained him international acclaim. A native of the South Sweden burg of Lund, Moodysson was the son of hardworking farmers who hailed from the small community of Smaland. When the opportunity arose for Moodysson’s father to study engineering in the 1960s, he relocated to the university town of Lund, funding his education with work at a local hardware store; it was there that Karl Frederik Lukas Moodysson was born in January of 1969. The future director was exposed to an early film influence at age 12 when… read more
This was the most adorable movie. Teenage lesbian romance seen through the lens of European arthouse. Combines a beautiful fascination with the quotidian, typical of that genre, with the shaky, naive politics of high school romance. The handheld camerawork presenting mostly close-ups and warm, grainy cinematography heightens intimacy, excludes context, and possibly even distorts it, recreating cinematically the unforgettable experience of first-time closeness. It’s kind of like American Pie (or some other American movie about high school relationships) at the hands of a Swedish auteur. And it’s a masterpiece.