Under Solen

Poster for Under Solen

Winter 2003 Main series

Sunday, February 2, 2003 at 4:00pm
Sunday, February 2, 2003 at 7:00pm
Monday, February 3, 2003 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated 14A · 1h 58m

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this gentle, lyrical film centers on a sweet-natured farmer in Sweden’s sun-drenched summer countryside in 1956. Unassuming, forty-year-old Olof (Rolf Lassgard) has little companionship on the farm after the death of his dear mother. His only friend Erik (Johan Widerberg) comes by regularly to help the illiterate Olof with his bookkeeping chores, but Olof, who has no experience with women at all, feels that the time is finally right for a little more female companionship. He places a thinly veiled ad in the local newspaper for a “young lady housekeeper – photograph appreciated,” and is both delighted and nervous when the ad is answered by a lovely and sensuous 34-year-old beauty named Ellen (Helena Bergstrom). From the onset, however, any romantic notions between the clumsy, simple Olof and the chic, urban Ellen seem doomed. But Ellen is attracted by Olof’s kindness and warm generosity and, over the course of the summer, they grow increasingly close and affectionate. Meanwhile, Erik has his own designs on Ellen, and on Olof’s finances. As Ellen refuses Erik’s advances and quickly comes to replace him as the central figure in Olof’s life, Erik’s jealousy grows, and he sets out to uncover the secrets of Ellen’s past. The film’s sensuality is intensified by the gorgeous photography of the lush Swedish countryside. Nutley builds the sexual tension with maturity towards a climactic consummation that is both simple and sophisticated. The measured pace of Nutley’s intelligent screenplay allows for complex characterizations, while the beautifully rich performances convey the characters’ emotional dynamics with refreshing believability.

“Not just a handsome film, but a gently humane and beckoning one.” – Jay Carr, Boston Globe

“This movie is stately, beautiful, straightforward and ultimately heartwarming.” – Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

“A touching, beautifully acted drama that well deserves greater exposure.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter