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Film / As It Is in Heaven

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A Swedish film (Så som i himmelen) by Kay Pollak, released in 2004 and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.

Daniel Dáreus (Michael Nyqvist), after a childhood full of bullying and losing both his parents, grows up to be a succesful and internationally famous conductor. Driven, and determined to create music that will "open people's hearts", he eventually suffers an on-stage heart attack, and retires out of necessity. He moves back to the village where he grew up, living in the old elementary school building he bought.

Intending to keep mostly to himself, he is persuaded by the locals to lead the village's choir. The choir becomes a catalyst for many of the locals' personal problems, affecting Daniel as he affects them.


The film provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Daniel is drafted as the choir's cantor pretty much instantly after moving to the village for retirement.
  • The Bully: Conny beats up Daniel as a child. He doesn't get much better later in life, as Gabriella's abusive husband.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Daniel isn't much of a conversation maker if it's not about music Lena ends up falling for him anyway, despite Daniel stammering his way through most conversations with her.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: Most are not that eccentric when it comes down to it, but their personal problems and eccentricities factor into the narrative in a major way.
  • The Heart: Lena.
  • Scenery Porn: Northern Sweden is quite beautiful.
  • You Are Not Ready: Daniel's initial lessons center around getting the group dynamic of the choir right for singing together. It makes a few locals wonder when they will actually start, you know, singing.


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