Let the Right One In (2008)
This one was a hard one to decide. There are a few that I’ve already listed for other prompts and I was going to choose Yiorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster (2015) until I realised it’s in English (duh!). It came down to exquisite Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In or astounding Estonian B&W In the Crosswind (Risttuules) (2014).
The vampire film won, mainly because it’s easier to access and so there’s more chance that my readers can see it. At the moment it’s available on Stan in Australia, as well as SBS On Demand and Kanopy.
Directed by Tomas Alfredson (who I discover was born four days before I was), it paints a story in ice cold tones of young, lonely and bullied Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant). Living in a Stockholm suburban wasteland with his mother, he meets the pale and enigmatic Eli (Lina Leandersson), who not only befriends him but seems unafraid of the local thugs who make Oskar’s life a misery.
It’s an occasionally bloody story of love and sacrifice. It is sometimes hard to watch but is profoundly moving and subtle in its narrative and resolution. The ending is perfect.
It was remade in Hollywood two years later as Let Me In (2010), by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves and with Australian Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz as leads. It was an almost scene-by scene remake and did a fair job except it had to introduce some unnecessary moralising that undermined the dark and uneasy premise of the story.
What’s your favourite non-English language film?
Posted as part of the 30-Day Fillums Challenge, created by me. If you want to see what’s coming up, have a look at my post here and feel free to join in by commenting each day with your own choice.
Coming Next: Day 29: A film that makes you cry, every time you watch it.