Torturous school reunion wins top film gong

Ann Törnkvist
Ann Törnkvist - [email protected]
Torturous school reunion wins top film gong
Anna Odell poses with her Guldbagge Award. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Swedish artist Anna Odell took home the Best Film award at the Guldbagge gala on Monday evening for her autofictive tale of not being invited to her own high school reunion.


Odell, who a few years back shot to fame and some would argue infamy for faking a suicide attempt on a Stockholm bridge to highlight the country's psychiatric care, made her directorial debut with The Reunion (Återträffen) last year. After finding out that she had not been invited to her school reunion, Odell instead wrote and starred in the film which plots a sort of "What were they scared would happen?" rendition of a drunken dinner where Odell faces up to the school bullies. 

Both nauseating and inspiring in turns, the film paints a not-so-pretty picture of adult denial about childhood grievances, but allows moments of reflection and redemption by the students "at the top of the hierarchy" who made Odell's character's life a misery during her school years. 

Some critics have likened the movie to revenge porn, but as Odell picked up both Best Film and Best Script, her supporters rallied behind her.

"The Reunion wasn't just revolutionary stylistically, it was an important film that provoked emotions, that contributed to an important political discussion, and created a refreshing debate about Swedish film," argued Göteborgs-Posten critic Maria Domellöf-Wik. 

Other winners at Monday's gala in Stockholm included singer and actor Edda Magnasson, who took home Best Actress for playing Monica Zetterlund in the film Monica Z. The film's supporting male actor Sverrir Gudnason also took home an award, as did Monica Z's director Per Fly and costume designer Kicki Ilander. 

Mikael Persbrandt took home the gong for Best Actor for Mig äger ingen, and the French darling of the past film year, Blue Is The Warmest Colour by Abdellatif Kechiche, took home Best Foreign Film. 



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