Tove Review

For many people of those of a certain age, Tove Jansson's Moomin novels cartoon strips, as well as her animated TV series possess an emotional entice that is comparable to those from Spangles or Space Dust. Actually the Finnish writer/artist built her amazing and deceivingly layered world right at the conclusion in World War II, having been recognized as a anti-fascist satirist as well as a an edgy part of the Helsinki artistic elite.

Zaida Bergroth's biopic being considered for Best International Film at this year's Oscars The film focuses on the period of the Tove's (Poysti) career, which is divided into three main years or acts which are 1944, 1947, and 1952. Through the development of the Moomins an inspiring background (somewhat off-the-cuff similarities can be drawn in Tove's family and her most well-known character), Bergroth instead focusses on her relationships, primarily her complicated relationship with father sculptor Viktor (Robert Enckell) an all-consuming affection for director of the theatre Vivica Bandler (Krista Kosonen) and on/off affair with the long-suffering M.P. Atos Wirtanen (Shanti Roney).

When choosing a short period in their lives, the outcome is more interesting sketch than a detailed portrait.

Bergroth together with screenwriter Eeva Putro and producer Catharina Nyqvist Ehrnrooth and cinematographer Linda Wassberg — creates an amazing impression of Helsinki's post-war period, with its decadent elegant and louche swathe of parties, private viewings, and the first nights. It's an achingly romantic experience as our world begins to unravel after 18 months of restraints and anxieties. However, there is a constant feeling of sadness, and these seemingly contradictory feelings are balanced. Tove's agitation, her distinct perspective on life and her constant determination to find out who she is are beautifully portrayed.

Perhaps, due to the sluggish pace it's possible to get an completely nuanced look at Jansson's motives (father issues, a broken heart, societal conservatism) and when she chooses the shortest timeframe that she lived, the resulting film is more like a sketch than a the nitty-gritty portrait. The ensemble is superb, with a particularly impressive Poysti as her debut lead film role, which is utterly charming as the fiery artist who is passionate, atypical, and passionate.

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