May 19, 2022


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Film review: "The Karl Bertil Johnson Christmas Eve Story"

Film review: “The Karl Bertil Johnson Christmas Eve Story”

Christmas movie


Hannes Holmes


Simon Larson, Jonas Carlson, Jenny Silverhelm, Adam Paulson, Sonya Holm

First offer data:

26. November 2021

age limit:

Everyone is allowed

original money:

A Christmas Eve Story by Carl Bertil Johnson

«It lacks charm.»

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Renowned Swedish director Hannes Holm (“A Man Named Ove”) took on the task of making Taggie Danielson’s story an all-nighter.

The film is dubbed into Norwegian for the target group of young people in the film.

long story

Karl Bertil came from a sinister wealthy family. His parents want to fit in with the stunt, and they can’t understand why they don’t get into the heat with lots of money. On the other hand, Karl Bertil is not fascinated by wealth or luxury. His great role model is the character of the legendary hero Robin Hood, who, inspired by the British robber and, motivated by a sense of justice and burgeoning fascination, steals Christmas presents from the rich to pass on to the city’s poorest.

Polished Film: Lacking a Story

Polished film: The story “Carl Bertil Johnson’s Christmas Eve” lacks the charm that tends to dominate Hannes Holm’s films. Photo: Niklas Moboix
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Since the first movie is only 22 minutes long, the screenwriters have greatly enriched the story to get it to a length worth the price of a movie ticket.

The result is that Holm’s version of “Carl Bertil Johnson’s Christmas Eve’s Tale” is lengthy. There is often a lot to like about Holm’s films, he proves that he is a human friend who always takes the side of the weakest, but first of all he seems to make films to entertain and promote a political stance. The demand for art is of the second order.

That also applies here, this is a movie that’s supposed to be fun, but also makes us think again before we use our monthly stipend on ourselves and our surroundings.

The problem is that Holm’s story adapts everything explained in rarity, while Holm’s project is riddled with unnecessary issues that lead to a chaotic and repetitive film.

Cheap tricks and cliches

Holm shows good direction and environmental photography. Post-war Stockholm has been portrayed as both a cool and inviting place where the differences are great. The production design is overly polished, which can often be a problem in period films. There is no life lived in clothes or furniture. Everything seems new, or at best restored, which prevents empathy in the universe.

It might have something to do with the Norwegian dubbing (which would be a nuisance to an older audience), but “Carl Bertil Johnson’s Christmas Eve Story” has no sentimental value. It’s hard to imagine that even the skinniest people can be fooled by the script’s cheap tricks and cliches, of which there will eventually be many.

Holm’s movie isn’t bad, nor is it without a message, but it’s not fun and easy to forget. It slips into audiences among many other children’s films that convey more or less exactly the same thing.

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