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All Things Fair (1995)

Cast: Johan Widerberg, Johan Widerberg, Marika Lagercrantz, more...
Director: Bo Widerberg, Bo Widerberg
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Homevision
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Romance, Scandinavia, Coming of Age
Running Time: 132 min.
Subtitles: English
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A young man growing up at a difficult time enters into a relationship that only makes his life more complicated in this acclaimed coming-of-age drama. Stig (Johan Widerberg) is a 15-year-old boy growing up in Malmo, Sweden, in 1942. While WWII rages in Europe, Sweden remains politically neutral, though it's all but impossible for the people of Malmo not to have an opinion about the conflict, and Stig's own brother intends to volunteer to serve on a submarine. Stig has fallen in love with his schoolteacher Viola (Marika Lagercrantz), who is 22 years his senior. To his great surprise, Viola confesses that she's also attracted to Stig; she's stuck in a failing marriage to Kjell (Tomas von Bromssen), a depressive alcoholic salesman, and there's something in Stig's naive desire that touches her. The two become involved in a passionate love affair, which Viola makes little effort to disguise from Kjell; in fact, Kjell becomes friendly with Stig and tries to teach him about his great passion in life, classical music. Eventually, Stig becomes attracted to Lisbet (Karin Huldt), a girl from school his own age, and when they become involved, Stig breaks off his affair with Viola. Viola is not eager to give up Stig, and in time, she retaliates with violence. Lust Och Fagring Stor was the final film from noted Swedish director Bo Widerberg; he died two years after its release -- at the age of 56. Jonah Widerberg, who played Stig, is Bo's son, and was 21 at the time the film was released. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Director and actor filmographies
  • Liner notes by film critic Wheeler Winston Dixon

GreenCine Member Reviews

Fair Enough by talltale August 30, 2006 - 4:02 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
ALL THINGS FAIR is a troubling movie, and not simply because it deals so heavily with sex--mostly between a 15-year-old student and the teacher more than twice his age. Directed by Bo Widerberg ("Elvira Madigan"), this is a Swedish film, so don't expect the kind of prurience and hand wringing Hollywood would give the subject. The sex appears to be terrifically enjoyable for both parties, but the after-effects keep piling up in odd ways.

Performances are all excellent, and the WWII setting is interesting because, due to the country's neutrality, the war appears to have touched Sweden more glancingly than it did most others. The film outstays its welcome (and content) by maybe 15-20 minutes, which is too bad because it's an original in the overcrowded young-man-grows-up genre. The ending, however, provides a small jolt. You may find yourself discussing what the boy takes with him--and why.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.85)
26 Votes
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