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Simon and the Oaks 2014

NR
3.5 out of 5 stars (6) IMDb 6.4/10

Based on the bestselling novel, SIMON AND THE OAKS explores the toll WWII took on Jews in Europe, forcing them to hide and reinvent themselves to survive - only to later find their true selves again.

Starring:
Bill Skarsgård, Helen Sjöholm
Runtime:
2 hours, 2 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
From the opening scene, the cinematography is breathtakingly beautiful. I rarely can take anything over 1.5 hours. In this case, the story line warranted the time to unfold. The acting was stellar, as were the writing and music. Many themes contained in this film, and I enjoyed every moment of the two hours. Didn't want it to end.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Simon and the Oaks is a story about the lives, consequences, and suffering of a group of individuals and families, Jews and Gentiles, in Sweden and Germany, touched by the Holocaust. Deep, non-violent, and well done.
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Format: DVD
I don’t know about you, but I tend to struggle accepting some motion pictures that get adapted to the silver screen from the written page. It isn’t as if these aren’t stories worth telling; I think because so many films undergo this process that point is clear by itself. Rather, I think it’s that invariably things get lost in the adaptation. Characters undergo a bit of a ‘cinematization,’ bringing them to life in ways that prose can’t always match. Sometimes, entire passages or occurrences of high relevance get entirely hacked or repackaged in the screenplay because they’re simply not working with the visual narrative. And – in some rare cases – the point of it all gets muddied up not necessarily by any flaw of the adaptation but more likely because film is a decidedly different medium than is the book.

I suspect that this may be the case with SIMON AND THE OAKS. Come the humble but mildly predictable finish, I’m not certain what point Marianne Frederiksson wanted with her novel, nor director Lisa Ohlin with her film.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

In the build-up to World War II, two families in Sweden come together out of necessity: Isak is the son of a wealthy Jewish businessman needing a home to call his own while his father cares for his wife after she suffers a nervous breakdown due to the rising social tensions.
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