‘Simon and the Oaks’ an eventual melodramatic exercise

Simon and the Oaks

Directed by Lisa Ohlin

Written by Lisa Ohlin and Marnie Blok

Sweden, 2011

During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, young Simon Larsson (Jonatan S. Washer) and his family live in the idyllic Swedish countryside. There, he and his father (Stefan Gödicke) are at constant odds, with Simon wanting to go to grammar school and his father wanting him to be a labourer. Isolated within his own home, Simon regularly takes refuge in his books, reading them while perched on a giant oak tree. Eventually, his father capitulates to his constant appeals, and at school, Simon meets Isak (Karl Martin Eriksson), the son of a wealthy Jewish bookseller (Jan Josef Liefers). As their friendship grows, and as the impending war looms, the two families come closer together, changing them in ways they’d never expect.

Saturated with the pastoral beauty of the Swedish countryside, and shot with careful and elegant poise,

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