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A Song for Martin

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Sven Wolter, Viveka Seldahl, ...

A Song for Martin

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
118 minutes
Limited Release Date:
06/28/02
performer:
Viveka Seldahl, Sven Wolter, Reine Brynolfsson, Linda Kallgren
director:
Bille August
distributor:
First Look
author:
Bille August

We gave it a B-

In A Song for Martin, the agony of seeing a loved one fall into the abyss of Alzheimer’s disease receives a more vivid, less sentimental treatment than it did in the tender but sodden ”Iris.” Yet an essential dramatic quandary remains: As the affliction strikes, the Alzheimer’s victim — in this case, a celebrated conductor-composer in the jaunty prime of late middle age — begins to recede not just from life but from the audience as well.

Barbara (Viveka Seldahl), an orchestral violinist, seizes one last chance at happiness by throwing over her dead marriage for Martin (Sven Wollter), who comes sweeping through town with the lordly swagger of a Swedish Leonard Bernstein. Before long, Martin’s memory starts to slip away, then his manners, then the core of his mind. The movie, for all its sincerity, becomes clinical and repetitious, though its unsparing vision of the fragility of identity can give you a shudder.