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Blondie, Swedish director Jesper Ganslandt’s third film to open at TIFF, opens ominously. Three troubled sisters visit their mother at her country mansion for her 70th birthday party. They all seem to be successful and wealthy, but Elin, the middle sister, dabbles in the cocaine glamour of modelling, Katarina, the eldest sister, is having an affair with a younger man and Lova, the baby, gets panic attacks. Their mother, Sigrid, whose aura is that of a Swedish Judy Dench, shows flashes of cruelty.

I felt a distinct Von Trier vibe at the beginning of Blondie – dark, Scandinavian tableaus of beleaguered women – but Ganslandt doesn’t go there. The darkness which does enter the mansion stops a few feet short of brutal and we’re given a fairly tame – and even warm – family melodrama. Blondie’s strength comes in its cinematography, which offers up formally beautiful composition, and its acting: especially from Elin, the eponymous blonde.

Is Blondie Essential TIFF Viewing?

Maybe. Blondie is mainly special for its visual composition. And for those who happen to be looking for a pretty good European melodrama, Blondie will hit the spot. For all you social realist types: look elsewhere.

Blondie Screening Times

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
  • Friday, September 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm at Scotiabank 3

More About Blondie

Blondie Trailer

Blondie Production Gallery