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Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Helen Sjoholm
In the years leading up to World War II, two families who seemingly couldn’t be more different find that they have more in common than they could have imagined. Simon is a bookish dreamer from a working-class family in rural Sweden; Isak is the son of wealthy Jewish immigrants fleeing religious persecution in Berlin. While Simon yearns for the music, literature and art that are part of Isak’s daily life, Isak finds comfort and security in Simon’s more rustic existence. When Isak’s family needs to find refuge from the anti-Semitism building in Sweden, the two families slowly merge, connecting in unexpected ways that threaten to both bring them closer together, and tear them apart. Suspenseful, moving and inspiring, Simon and the Oaks is a “taut, absorbing tale of destiny and survival” (The Washington Post).
"Simon and the Oaks" tells the story of Simon Larsson who lives a simple live with his uncle and aunt, Simon thinks they are his real parents. The film takes place in 1939 Sweden just as WWII is beginning in Europe.
Simon is a bit of a loner and instead of playing with other kids he likes to sit under a Oak tree by his house and read books all day. When Simon gets accepted to an upper class school he instantly makes friends with Isak, a Jewish boy who is being picked on at school so his only real friend seems to be Simon. Simon and his family could not be any more different from Isak and his wealthy family but their lives soon merge as the anti-Semitism in Sweden grows stronger.
"Simon and the Oaks" is a family drama that touches the heart. The first thing I noticed about the film was how beautiful it looked. Set 1939 and the 40's and 50's everything about the film looks fantastic. Another thing I noticed right from the start was the amazing cast, they really brought this complex characters to life. The film shows Simon as a boy and later as young man so the cast changes but the acting never does.
The basic plot is simple but the characters and their ever changing lives are not. You care about the characters right from the start and even though your opinions of some of them might change during the film you remain committed.
The film was released back in 2011 and it got a limited release in October of 2012 in the states. I am glad that it is finally released on DVD so that it can have a wider audience, I recommend it to anyone that likes a good family drama.
You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by RLJ Entertainment/Image Entertainment
**** Out Of *****