Director: Pernille Fischer Christensen
Writer: Kim Fupz Aakeson, Pernille Fischer Christensen
Cast: Alba August, Maria Bonnevie, Trine Dyrholm, Henrik Rafaelsen, Magnus Krepper, Björn Gustafsson
Seen on: 18.12.2018
Coming from a poor farmer’s family, Astrid (Alba August) is a driven young woman who jumps at the chance to work at the local newspaper when she is 16 years old. She gets along well with the editor-in-chief Reinhold Blomberg (Henrik Rafaelsen). In fact, they start to have an affair. When Astrid ends up pregnant, it’s a wake-up call for her. She goes to Denmark to have her son there. As she is in no position to raise him herself, she leaves him with a foster family, but is resolved to get him back as soon as possible. But building a life as a young woman is no easy task.
Becoming Astrid is an interesting biopic that isn’t made by the fact that it is about famous writer Astrid Lindgren – it would have been just as engaging if it had been a film about a woman called Astrid who doesn’t rise to fame later-on. I really enjoyed it.
Unga Astrid is a biopic of Astrid Lindgren that focuses almost entirely on her life before she became an author. I thought that’s an interesting choice from the filmmakers – but then again Lindgren lived an interesting life apart from her literary career, so why not. Tying a famous person to a story that could happen to anyone and that doesn’t really have anything to do with her fame has a grounding effect for both the story and the person that is really engaging.
But I guess it does mean that you’ll be disappointed if you’re looking to find more insight about Lindgren’s career – so you should definitely keep that in mind/be prepared for it. The title of the film does hint at that focus and it’s not like they don’t mention that she becomes a famous writer later, but still.
Aakeson and Christensen have an eye for complexities and leave room for ambivalence as the difficult times Astrid lives through demand. And from today’s perspective, it felt like a very accurate, thoughtful look at the time. It makes the film even more engaging. And I have to say: absolute respect for the choices Astrid makes. They certainly aren’t always easy.
Alba August is really good and carries the film with apparent ease. Generally, the cast was good, but I have to say, I was also pretty busy with drooling over Astrid’s parents (Magnus Krepper and Maria Bonnevie) who are both super hot in completely different ways. (And yeah, I guess I am at the age now where I drool over the parents of the young protagonist. Well.)
All of this definitely makes Becoming Astrid a gripping film that really spoke to me.
Summarizing: Very good.