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  • Adrian is a teenager with a secret he doesn't realize is one until his father dies unexpected. His mother, who kept him safe, for all this time falls into a deep depression and Adrian is left to his own devices. Bullied in school he has only the albino Emilie as his only sympathizer. Things slowly deteriorate as Adrian struggles with his identity and unfortunate events.

    Lars Saabye Christensens book about an self induced outcast in the conservative 50ies in Norway is well filmed. The confinement Adrian finds himself in comes across well. The story is told quite cold and detached and although you feel for Adrians misfortune you don't feel closeness to him nor the other characters. You watch Adrian struggle but you can't see any further than the outside.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Maskeblomstfamilien is based upon the book from 2003 by Lars Saabye Chrustensen, with the same name. The story is about 15 year old Adrian Wang, which in Oslo, Norway in the mid 60'ies, is an androgynous not knowing what he is, except being different.

    He grows up with his parents being ashamed of him, something he doesn't realize until he overhears a conversation between his parents, ending with a question if it would have been better if he wasn't born.

    The parents has not done anything to the situation, except managing to keep Adrian off gymnastics classes at school, thanks to a doctors hernia-lie. His only friend is an albino neighboring girl, and they're both bullied for being different back in the 60'ies. Though the ones bullying him doesn't know Adrians big secret.

    The lies in the family makes an unloved child grow up doing things wrong over and over. A life where nothing is the way it's supposed to be. Wrong feelings grow in Adrian. A cold, mean, lonely, scared boy also being immensely tough, strong, beautiful and daring.

    The story evolves tragically, and is hard stuff to both see and comprehend. The story is beautifully filmed, and Adrian is unbelievably well played by young debuting Marcus Aarnseth. Very well casted, as the rest of the cast.

    This is heavy. You really hate the story, though it is quite believable. Though immensely tragic. This is also the films problem. Though wanting to love the story, it's really difficult to watch that what you really want to go well, doesn't. You realize it's impossible. In the cinemas this film flopped due to this, though having great and popular showings on festivals.

    Nowadays we know more about these things, and it is no doubt easier to be in Adrians situation than it was 50 years ago. Still I'd so much like Adrian unwillingly not to seek his own destruction.

    I'm very much impressed by the acting in the film, which is superb, but I hated the story for not being more positive. Though I usually hate the opposite in e.g. a Hollywood movie, I really hate it here. Adrian is not growing up, being less and less able to experience happiness. This is too sad to be the profound masterpiece this film deserves and wants to be.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is being shown to full houses at film festivals in Scandinavia, but the novelty is wearing off fast. The movie (and be warned that this is a SPOILER!) is about a boy, Adrian, who apparently has disfigured genitals, and how this affects him as he is embarking on his sexual debut. Unfortunately the movie is making a right mess of things. It draaags and draaags, beating around the bush forever, showing strange relationships that are never properly explained. Nor does it reveal what exactly is wrong with Adrian. It tries to be a modern tragedy, but the producers do not understand tragedy well enough to make the attempt a success. The most serious shortcoming is how the hell the boy could have failed to understand that he is physically different until he reaches puberty. Whether the dysfunctionality of the family is owed to Adrian's disfigurement is not clear (but it probably is), and the whole Oedipal subtext which is hammered home with a pile-driver (the play-within-the-play theme is growing extremely popular) and still managing to let much of the plot remain unclear doesn't help any. The end result is boring - it seems like a lot of sound and fury signifying too little.

    5 out of 10.