BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE, the second feature by Swedish actress and director Tuva Novotny is a feel-good film from Sweden that serves as the perfect ‘foreign film for beginners’. Unlike other notable Swedish films from Masters like Ingmar Bergman, there is no contemplation on death or the evil one or complicated love affairs. It is about living. BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE is a film that intends to show that it is never too late to start living. The film is the second adaptation to the big screen of a novel by Fredrik Backman (A Man called Ove).
Britt-Marie, 63 years old (Pernilla August), has just left a 40-year-old marriage when she finds out that her husband has been cheating with a younger woman. She has lived too long a life as a housewife. Being told she is a nagging passive aggressive aunt, the new, only job, in small town Borg will be quite challenging. The small town of Borg has no pride left except the young soccer team, and Britt-Marie’s new job is to coach them.
Britt-Marie knows nothing about football. All she knows is order and tidiness as in house cleaning. When her husband leaves her, she is forced to take the job in Borg to coach football when she knows nothing about football. “One day at a time,” Britt-Marie tells herself, “One day at a time.”
Britt-Marie’s journey that is filled with struggles, challenges but also warmth and love makes director’s Novotny’s endearing story.
A bit too eager to please, the film tends up to be a bit too predictable towards the end. The set-up, however is fresh and full of little surprises like the ones that pop up to change Britt-Maries life. The film also contains quite a few emotional moments that might require one to brig some Kleenex.
The small film that it is, it has a (small) limited release at the local Regent Thetare, that might be out of the way for some folks. But if one wants to fee good and perhaps shed a tear or two, BRITT-MARIE is the one to see. Filmed in Swedish and German.