A light-hearted pleasant comedy, Britt-Marie was Here (Britt-Marie var här) is the tale of a 63 year old homemaker who has dedicated her life to being dutiful — cleaning, tidying, and completing to do lists that keep her house ultra organized. To her, baking soda solves all problems. The one problem it can’t solve is when she comes face-to-face with her stricken husband’s mistress at the side of his hospital bed.
Forced to face the truth, she goes out on her own. She takes a job running a youth center in the small town of Borg, where she is required to coach the unruly football team in an important game. However, Britt-Marie is not qualified to do either, dislikes her husband’s adored game, and has never even had children.
But as she struggles through one day at a time, her organizational skills, discipline, and resilience not only make her a role model for the children, but she endears herself to adults in the community as well.
Appropriate to the story, the soccer in the film is at a recreational level or less. Under female Director Tuva Novotny, the performances of the very diverse cast are all enjoyable. Pernilla August plays Britt-Marie as a woman who realizes there is so much more within her than her 40-year marriage ever required. Her strength reminds me very much of Dame Judi Dench.
There isn’t really much to say about the film or its background. Info is hard to come by, and production company SF Studios doesn’t even list the film on its website yet. Perhaps that’s because the film is not having the success of A Man called Ove, which was also based on a book by the same author, Fredrik Backman.
I wondered who this film was targeted at. It’s probably not a film that kids would enjoy. The theme of mature romance would appeal to baby boomers and above. But most retirees don’t go to sports-themed movies; I’m probably an outlier.
Thankful for Landmark Theaters
I watched this film at a San Francisco Landmark Theater, which was interesting in itself. The film was shown in a small viewing room with around 40 seats. It seemed like the 15 other attendees were on subscription memberships.
I’ve discovered you should always bring your own seat cushion to a Landmark Theater, which specializes in indie films in historic buildings. The seats are usually broken down.
Anyhow, if it weren’t for indie theaters and specialty film festivals, I would only be able to watch soccer movies on my computer. It does seem like the number of football films in California theaters is on the upswing. If not for personal schedule conflicts, I could have gone to 3 other theatrical releases in the last 2 months (all film fests), and that has not happened before.
I actually rewatched this film via streaming and appreciated it a lot more, not as a soccer movie, but as a film about aging. In that sense, Britt-Marie was here was very good and quite positive. By this time, I had also seen A Man called Ove, which deserves all its accolades. So if you’re into themes about aging, watch both of these fine films.
6 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 6
- Released: 2019-01-24 (Göteborg)
- In Swedish with English subtitles
- Original title is Britt-Marie var här
- Women Director: Tuva Novotny
- Stars: Pernilla August
- Watch the Trailer