Stockholm My Love (3 stars)

Stockholm My Love

Director Mark Cousins and star Neneh Cherry explore the titular city in this restless drama

Hailed as a move from documentary to drama for prolific filmmaker Mark Cousins, Stockholm My Love retains the sense of poetry and restless curiosity that have become essential elements of his dreamily distinctive style. Co-written with veteran Swedish producer Anita Oxburgh, it reunites Cousins with esteemed cinematographer Christopher Doyle and is very much a companion piece to their last collaboration I Am Belfast, creating another city symphony that celebrates the famous landmarks, history and hidden beauty of the Swedish capital.

Singer Neneh Cherry makes her acting debut as architect Alva. Gripped by depression, Alva wanders through Stockholm on the first anniversary of a traumatic car accident. Taking solace in the embrace of the city, she loses herself in mournful reflection, musing on her relationship with her father, the city's status as a refuge for migrants and the tragedy that haunts her. Confronting the past becomes the first step to facing the future.

Stockholm My Love seems determined to blur the boundaries between reality and fiction; Cherry was born in Sweden and her late father was an African immigrant, making it tricky to distinguish between her and Alva, an impassive, introverted character who doesn't seem to require much in the way of acting.

Inevitably, the film does offer some beautiful images, finding comfort in the architecture and anonymity of a city and lacing everything together with an eclectic soundtrack that includes jazzy new material from Cherry and her husband Cameron McVey, contributions from ABBA's Benny Andersson and orchestral music from 19th century composer Franz Berwald.

The end result doesn't felt quite as personal or sharply focused as I Am Belfast, but it will still leave you longing for someone to take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of Stockholm.

Selected release from Fri 16 Jun.

Stockholm, My Love

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • Sweden
  • 1h 28min
  • Directed by: Mark Cousins
  • Cast: Mark Cousins, Anita Oxburgh

Alva (Cherry) is an architect who wanders the streets of Stockholm on the anniversary of a traumatic car accident. Dreamy and restless, Cousins’s first dramatic film blurs boundaries between reality and fiction and while it isn’t as personal or sharply focused as his earlier I Am Belfast, it retains that film’s poetry and…