An internationally lauded novelist announces that she is going to end her life and that young male writers may compete to become executor of her estate. The man who wins will inherit her home, land, books, unpublished manuscripts, and be expected to protect and promote her posthumous reputation.
Previously an understudy to Ingmar Bergman, the great actor Lena Olin (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) provides a remarkable performance—at once pained, acerbic, and sincere—in this darkly humorous portrait of an artist arranging the conclusion of her life. A fiery tale of legacy and womanhood.
Maya Dardel is played by the great Lena Olin, an actress of enormous power and intelligence, and her presence—prickly, intimidating, unpredictable, frankly sexual—is justification alone for the film’s existence.
Ohlin is great, but the characters and action around her are repetitive and dull. Might make a better book, as then we could read the interior thoughts of Maya, instead of listening to her ironic statements. Liked the idea of the casting couch, but the personalities of the two men seem silly and manufactured for maximum conflict. The climax feels stagey and forced. The piano music is repetitively irksome.