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A SONG FOR MARTIN


"A tender and compassionate portrait of a couple whose relationship is ravaged by Alzheimer's disease...Directed by Bille August with unflinching honesty and meticulous attention to character and dramatic structure, this Danish-Swedish co-production is a remarkable achievement...From its invitingly upbeat overture to its pathos-filled but ultimately life-affirming finale, 'Martin' is a masterfully conducted work." --Lael Loewenstein, The Los Angeles Times

"Mr. Wollter and Ms. Seldhal give strong and convincing performances, but neither reaches into the deepest recesses of the character to unearth the quaking essence of passion, grief and fear. Even when the characters are in tears, a certain intimacy is lacking. In 'Iris,' Jim Broadbent and Judi Dench uncovered the raw psychological marrow of an intense, quirky union. 'A Song for Martin' is content to remain a more generalized case history ... As much as 'A Song for Martin' hurts, it doesn't quite go the distance." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"... an almost unbearably morbid love story about being trapped in the relentless torment of Alzheimer's disease....The uncanny performances of Ms. Seldahl and Mr. Wollter reflect their real-life marriage, which ended with her death from cancer shortly after the film was completed. As the French say, it is to cry." -- Andrew Sarris, The Village Voice

"Bille August's exceptionally well-made, well-acted 'Martin' has just one little problem: No one will want to see it...A relentlessly authentic depiction of Alzheimer's disease but without some of the commercial gloss of the similarly themed 'Iris'...Real-life marrieds Sven Wollter and Viveka Seldahl give superb performances as the couple...." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"Fine performances from the two principals drown in the torrent of heavy-handed tragedy flooding Bille August's film about the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease on a marriage... this slow-moving Swedish film offers not even a hint of joy, preferring to focus on the humiliation of Martin as he defecates in bed and urinates on the plants at his own birthday party." --Megan Turner, The New York Post