9 October 2013 | iam_moriya
Great film about a Swedish Legend
I left the theater smiling. It's rare that I get to see a truly good movie, but even more rare than that is that I see a truly good Swedish film.
Monica Z is a biography movie about the Swedish Jazz-singer, actress and variety performer Monica Zetterlund. It begins with the words "Freely based on the life of Monica Zetterlund" and after that tells a story of a talented but self-destructive singer who struggles to get the man she loves and, more importantly, the respect of her father. The film succeeds where so many biography movies fail. Instead of trying to squeeze an entire lifetime in roughly two hours this one has a clear story arc and focuses on a short period in the persons life.
The film has received some criticism for that, though. Some are not happy that the film differs from reality and some believe it to take place in a 15 year time span without the characters, and more specifically Monicas daughter Eva-Lena, doesn't age. However, they missed to read the text in the beginning. This is historical fiction. Many parts of Monicas life are boiled down into a time span of roughly 2-5 years at the most. The point was to tell a story based on and inspired by Monica, not a documentary. And that's why did movie is so good.
Besides the well-crafted story, the look of the film deserves it's fair share of credit too. This is a gorgeous movie, from design to costumes to the cinematography. It's great to look at.
Last, but not least, Edda Magnasson. She doesn't play Monica. She IS Monica. At times this movie feels haunted she's so spot on. Even in the music numbers. Edda performs all the songs herself and sometimes I was fooled that it really was Monica with Edda just lip syncing the words but no, it's her. All the other actors are great as well but they just glow compared to Edda who shines like a Supernova. If nothing else this movie is worth watching just for her.