I went “over the bridge” today. Well, strictly speaking, I took the tunnel, but you know what I mean. A group of friends and I left the Eastern Suburbs/Inner West enclave in which we all live on a journey to the other side, to see a movie at the Hayden Orpheum at Cremorne. It’s the second of third time I’ve been there, and I always enjoy the experience, as the cinema has been beautifully resorted in the 1940s/1950s style. The main cinema has an old-fashioned live musical soundtrack as you enter, and the cinema regularly features live jazz performances in the Benny Goodman/Glen Miller style.
But aside from the treat the cinema has to offer, we were there to see the movie, “Sa som i himmelen” (As It Is In Heaven), featuring the Swedish singer and actor, Helen Sjoholm, who has worked consistently for the last decade with Benny Andersson, formerly of ABBA. She was the lead in the musical, Kristina, and she has been the vocalist (muse?) for Benny Andersson’s Orchestra. In this movie, she plays Gabriella, a woman living in a violent relationship
Hers is one of the main, though secondary stories in the movie, which fundamentally concerns the returns to his home town in the cold and bitter north of Sweden story of a famous musician. After suffering a heart-attack, and reflecting on the child-hood bullying he received, the character of Daniel buys his old primary school, in an effort to recover. Although at first, he is a little off-hand with the rest of the community, he eventually becomes a significant part of it. And although the film is often quite bleak, it also has a “feel good” quality to it, as the characters of the small town (as well as the lead), undergo a transformation.
The film is beautifully shot, well acted and honestly scripted. I think most of all though, the honesty of many of the exchanges in the film that make it such a good film, with great moments of insight expressed by the characters. And even now, a few hours later, thinking about the film gives me goose-bumps. Tremendous stuff.