A Song for Martin


Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

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Critic Reviews

  1. Viveka Seldahl and Sven Wollter will touch you to the core in a film you will never forget -- that you should never forget.
  2. From its invitingly upbeat overture to its pathos-filled but ultimately life-affirming finale, "Martin" is a masterfully conducted work.
  3. 88
    Starts at the beginning and goes straight through to the inevitable end, unblinkingly. It doesn't relieve the pressure, as "Iris" does, with flashbacks to happier days.
  4. 80
    Scenes from a marriage unfolding at the limits of love and personality.
  5. August, who also made "Pelle the Conqueror" and "House of the Spirits," steers this story to its stirring conclusion with firm lack of sentimentality.
  6. Reviewed by: Gunnar Rehlin
    A moving love story with two exquisite central performances.
  7. Sven Wollter and Viveka Seldahl give superb performances as the couple, a once-vigorous conductor and his orchestra's concertmistress. But soon ... well, you know the drill.
  8. 75
    Doesn't sugarcoat the painful realities of Alzheimer's or the difficult decisions faced by relatives of its victims, but by film's end, its clear-eyed melancholy winds up feeling strangely uplifting.
  9. 70
    A touching examination of the ravages of Alzheimer's disease, made even more so by the extraordinary chemistry between Swedish actor Sven Wollter and his real-life wife, Viveka Seldahl, who died shortly after the film was completed.
  10. 70
    August so firmly establishes characters of Martin and Barbara and their relationship, so when the disease does enter the picture, the film does not suddenly become about that; the focus clearly remains on the effect it takes on the people.
  11. Watching it, I kept imagining the depth of feeling Ingmar Bergman and his troupe might have brought to the same material. As much as A Song for Martin hurts, it doesn't quite go the distance.
  12. The movie, for all its sincerity, becomes clinical and repetitious, though its unsparing vision of the fragility of identity can give you a shudder.
  13. 60
    Only August's assured direction and the leads' solid performances elevate this above a TV "disease of the week" movie.
  14. 50
    This slow-moving Swedish film offers not even a hint of joy, preferring to focus on the humiliation of Martin as he defecates in bed and urinates on the plants at his own birthday party.
  15. 50
    Starts in one direction, then performs a cruel narrative fake-out, sandwiching together two different movies that are scarcely related.

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