Polari (aGLIFF) 2012
By Caitlyn Collins | October 12, 2012
Writer: Alexandra-Therese Keining
Starring: Ruth Vega Fernandez, Liv Mjönes, Lena Endre, Krister Henriksson, Joakim Nätterqvist, Tom Ljungman
Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez) is on the traditional track: successful architecture career, a wonderful apartment in the city, and she’s engaged to her boyfriend of many years, Tim (Joakim Nätterqvist). Mia and Tim travel to celebrate the 60th birthday and engagement of Mia’s father, Lasse (Krister Henriksson) to Elisabeth (Lena Endre). Mia’s younger brother, Oskar (Tom Ljungman), introduces her to Elisabeth’s daughter, Frida (Liv Mjönes). The idea is for everyone to get along like one big happy family. As with so many Scandinavian films I’ve seen recently there is so much beauty in Kiss Me – from the actors themselves to the lighting as well as the Swedish countryside. Writer and director Alexandra-Therese Keining captures one of the most intimate love stories I’ve seen in years. There is nothing trite or syrupy about Mia and Frida as we witness the evolution of their relationship. Keining’s story shows us that we cannot help whom we love, but even more importantly, that not all love stories follow the same path. Mia must first come to terms with her intense attraction to Frida and eventually must decide between marrying Tim or following her heart. While there are recognizable elements found in many a romantic drama – the resistance, the indulgence, an obligatory airport scene – Frida and Mia are so identifiable and well-developed as characters that you cannot help but feel for them. Fernandez turns in a superb performance as Mia. The emotional depth she conveys allows for a visible transformation as the story progresses. Mjönes as Frida is equally compelling. Kiss Me has the potential to become a classic for its beauty, performance, and genuinely wonderful love story.