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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Kristin Lavransdatter
Directed by Liv Ullmann
Home Vision Cinema 12/98 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Not Rated

This beautifully photographed Norwegian film, set in the fourteenth century, is based on the novel Kransen by the Nobel Prize-winning author Sigrid Undset. Laurans has lost three sons and one daughter was maimed in an accident outdoors. His other daughter, Kristin, is the apple of her father's eye. Wanting only the best for her, he has arranged a marriage to Simon, the son of another landowner.

Kristin (Elizabeth Matheson) is sent to a convent after she turns 18. Her destiny is altered when she meets Erlend (Bjorn Skagestad), a handsome knight who sweeps her into his arms and conquers her heart. Only problem is that he has a mistress and out-of-wedlock children by her. Watched over by a renegade priest and a mysterious woman, Kristin refuses to give in to her father's orders to marry Simon.

Liv Ullmann's devotion to this classic comes across on the screen in her intense direction of this tale of one woman's yearning. Sven Nykvist's cinematography is breathtaking especially in shots involving nature and some amazing horses.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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