Waltz for Monica

HAVING IT ALL COMES AT A PRIZE.

waltzformonicaA traditional but finely tuned drama about the 1960s and ’70s Swedish jazz singer and entertainer Monica Zetterlund who struggled to escape her small hometown, tried her luck and failed in a New York City nightclub only to find love and fame in Swedish showbiz by popularizing jazz in her own language. As in so many other biopics, the film also deals with the artist’s subsequent alcohol problems and complex relationships, including the one with her bitter father. Takes liberties with the facts of Zetterlund’s life, but the film is beautifully staged. Edda Magnason becomes one with her character and is entirely believable, impressively recreating the singer’s voice.

2013-Sweden-Denmark. 111 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Lena Rehnberg. Directed by Per Fly. Screenplay: Peter Birro. Cast: Edda Magnason (Monica Zetterlund), Sverrir Gudnason (Sture Åkerberg), Kjell Bergqvist (Bengt), Cecilia Ljung, Vera Vitali, Nadja Christiansson… David Hellenius.

Trivia: Original title: Monica Z.

Last word: “Peter [Birro]’s view was very good from the beginning. It was clear for him that the film wouldn’t be a docu-style biopic. He wanted to focus on Monica in the early 60s so we took liberties in putting together moments of her life so that they would take place within 1-2 years. That allowed us to focus on the dilemmas in her life, her inner fears and demons. It also allowed us to have people the same age during the whole film. What happens in a lot of biopics is that they have too much detail and you lose focus on the character.” (Fly, Nordisk Film og TV-fond)

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