Lilya 4-Ever

<em>Lilya 4-Ever</em>

Swede Lucas Moodysson shares with fellow Scandinavian director Lars Von Trier sympathy for the travails of young women, a strong sense of melodrama, and an apparently unshaken belief in the lord God. Like Von Trier, he has a knack for getting extraordinary work from his actors – if Emily Watson turned out to be Von Trier’s Falconetti in her one great performance to date, the cherubic Oksana Akinshina, as 16-year-old Lilja, is Moodysson’s Anna Karina. But the film itself is cruel. It insists on Lilja’s fundamental innocence, then puts her in an impossible situation in order to break her will. And then Moodysson, in the crass guise of a deceitful lover, moves in for the kill.

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