Eye For Film >> Movies >> Patrik, aged 1.5 (2008) Film Review
A couple of Swedish gay guys, Goran (Gustav Skarsgard) and Sven (Torkel Petersson), who are married, move into a neighbourhood that is unaccustomed to homosexuals. They are desperate to adopt a child and have the support of Sven’s ex-wife, Eva (charmingly played by Annika Hallin), who is cool with the situation, supports their decision to adopt, and still comes around for supper with their daughter, Isabell (Amanda Davin).
They receive a letter to say that they have been matched with Patrik, aged one-and-a-half, only to discover that the person who eventually arrives on their doorstep is a 15-year-old homophobic delinquent. This prompts Sven to throw a wobbly and Goran asks him to leave.
Gradually Goran and Patrik form a fragile relationship, based on the boy's exceptional horticultural skills, a passion they can share. Soon Patrik starts gardening for the whole neighbourhood, gradually winning the neighbours and, in particular, their children around, with his skateboarding skills.
Slowly he unwinds and learns to trust and have a grudging affection for Goran and Eva, who becomes closer to Goran after Sven's departure. Goran decides to adopt Patrik on his own, but is met with resistance because they originally applied as a couple and now things have changed, so he has to reapply. In time Patrik begins to see that Goran and Sven worked together and he encourages Goran to invite Sven back into his life, even though this might well be the beginning of the end for him.
This is a charming and ultimately very uplifting movie, with numerous little funny nuances and awkward moments that ring true to life. The acting is uniformly good and the film plays out in a straightforward, skilful, yet affecting way. The cinematography is a tad murky at times and some scenes feel a little stilted and contrived, but I really enjoyed its understated approach.Reviewed on: 13 Oct 2010