the fresh films reviews

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Fucking Åmål (1998)

Directed by:
Lukas Moodyson
Show Me Love

Fucking Åmål



89 minutes

Produced by:
Lars Jönsson
Written by:
Lukas Moodyson

Cast includes:

Elin Alexandra Dahlström ½
Agnes Ahlberg Rebecka Liljeberg ½
Johan Hulth Mathias Rust
Jessica Erica Carlson
Markus Stefan Hörberg



Lukas Moodyson's 1998 debut Fucking Åmål is a piece of pure, raw and aesthetically flawless low-budget cinema. A film about young unconventional love and growing up in small-town Sweden in the 1990s, written and documented with seemingly intimate knowledge and a real connection with these kids by Moodyson. The film is like a sneak peak into a more or less secret – or at least highly inaccessible – teenage life from the last days of the pre-connected era. Fucking Åmål has a semi-documentarian style, driven by dialogue and trivialities, but where the larger questions in life are lurking constantly under the surface. Moodyson lets his two young protagonists – the introverted, self-harming Agnes (Rebecka Liljeberg) and the extroverted, rebellious Elin (Alexandra Dahlström) – spill their guts and set the terms for the inevitable disclosure, while we get to stand watch and cheer them on. The two young actresses give daring and boldly realistic performances which suggest how close to the material and this milieu they arguably were themselves at the time – and of course how incredibly well Moodyson handled the many intimately challenging scenes and situations he put them in. A classic and in many ways timeless coming-of-age story which celebrates life, love and the power of the motion picture medium. Moodyson followed up with the brilliant Tillsammans two years later.

Re-reviewed: Copyright © 02.05.2023 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright © 18.02.2000 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang