Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Sweet Land

Sweet Land
Starring:
Elizabeth Reaser, Tim Guinee, Lois Smith, Alex Kingston,
John Heard, Ned Beatty and Alan Cumming


Rated: PG 
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: October 21, 2005 Released by: Forward Entertainment LLC

It's easy to fall for Elizabeth Reaser's Inge as she arrives from Germany, through Oslo in a rural farm community in Minnesota as a mail order bride following World War I. There is a joy and a sense of well being on the part of the entire cast except for the banker who attempts to foreclose on certain properties.

Even that foreclosure brings out the warmth and beauty of this very gentle romance. The barriers to the marriage of Inge and Olaf (Tim Guinee) are significant, not only is she German, but the local bureaucracy is inflexible and the church through Minister Sorrensen (John Heard) is not sure a permanent arrangement can be made for the two.

Filmed on the flat farm land of middle America the stark white farm houses stand out as icons on the landscape, simple yet compelling as part of the sweep of beauty in the background for the players to work on.

Alan Cumming's Frandsen becomes the chief greeter and instant supporter for Inge as he delivers her from the lonely train station at which she arrives. Inge carries two suitcases and a gramophone with an extended horn which she obviously transported in her arms from Europe and is not about to give up.

Sweet Land has no real surprises, and no jolts. It's part Bridges of Madison County and part Rachel and the Stranger; it's a gentle journey filled with heart. It is beautifully written and respectful of the land in which this warm, tender and delightful romance is played out. From the first frame to the last meaningful words called out by Inge we know this is something special.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Sweet Land B+             B+

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