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From the Director of House of Angels and Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Under the Sun is a sensuous, lush and lyrical film, set in 1956 in the sun-drenched summer countryside of Sweden. Sweet but lonesome Olof (Rolf Lassgård) lives by himself on his family’s farm after the death of his mother. Unable to read or write and therefore forced to take people on trust, Olof must depend upon his womanizing younger friend Erik (Johan Widerberg) to help him with the farmwork. Erik, once a sailor and now a part-time gravedigger, shamelessly uses Olof’s money for bets at the racetrack. One day, out of the blue, Olof places an advertisement in the local paper: "Lonely farmer, 39, own car. Seeks young lady housekeeper. Photograph appreciated." It’s not long before the ad attracts a surprising candidate: Ellen (Helena Bergström), a beautiful, 34-year-old, well-heeled city woman. As the summer progresses, Ellen effectively takes over both the house and Olof’s heart. Erik, also taken by Ellen, is determined to destroy her blossoming romance with Olof by unearthing the secret past he’s convinced she’s hiding.
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A perfectly lovely excursion to the Swedish countryside, as love sprouts in an unlikely place. It's 1956, and a 40-year-old bachelor farmer (played by the hefty and likable Rolf Lassgard) places an ad for a housekeeper. The woman that shows up on his doorstep is a city-wise knockout--which pleases the farmer no end, but sets off warning bells for his skeptical buddy. Director Colin Nutley (reuniting with his radiant House of Angels star, Helena Bergstrom) doesn't stint on the lush visual treatment of a golden rural oasis in summer, but the movie isn't just eye candy. Its careful, respectful approach to a gently-growing romance is like the patience of a farmer who knows that a good crop takes time to nurture. Added bonus: the music from Irish musician Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains, another unexpected choice in a movie that simply feels really good. --Robert Horton
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