Everlasting Moments (Swedish: Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick) is a 2008 Swedish drama film directed by Jan Troell, starring Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt and Jesper Christensen. It is based on the true story of Maria Larsson, a Swedish working class woman in the early 20th century, who wins a camera in a lottery and goes on to become a photographer. It has been compared to Troell's previous films Here's Your Life and As White as in Snow, which are both set around the same period.
The film won the Guldbagge Award for Best Film and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 66th Golden Globe Awards. It also made the January shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards, but wasn't selected as one of the final nominees.
Maria Heiskanen as Maria Larsson
Mikael Persbrandt as Sigfrid Larsson
Jesper Christensen as Sebastian Pedersen
Emil Jensen as Englund
Ghita Nørby as Miss Fagerdal
Hans Henrik Clemensen as Mr. Fagerdal
Amanda Ooms as Mathilda
Antti Reini as Captain
Birte Heribertsson as Aunt Tora
Claire Wikholm as Grandmother Karna
Nellie Almgren as Maja age 7-9
Callin Öhrvall as Maja age 14-22
Ann Petrén as Ida
Maria Lundqvist as Miss Petrén
Sanna Persson as Månse-Lotta
Maria Kulle as Aunt Anna
Hans Alfredson as Prison Guard
Livia Millhagen as Ingeborg's Mother
Max Eskilsson as Sven age 14-17
Rickard Nygren as Police
Alexander Kathy as Anton Nilson
Lukas Wägbo as Algot Rosberg
With financing from 26 organisations from five different countries; Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Germany; the film was Troell's largest project since The Emigrants in the early 1970s. Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell, Jan Troell's wife, started doing research and interviews in 1986 with Maja Larsson, Maria Larsson's daughter, who was a cousin to Ulfsäter-Troell's father. During her research she found Maria's pictures, which were used as inspiration for the pictures seen in the film. The material wasn't organized, but when a person at the Swedish Film Institute heard about the story and how Jan Troell was interested in turning it into a film, an early process for a manuscript was started.
The first official meeting took place in early 2004. Troell said that the casting choice of Maria Heiskanen and Jesper Christensen, both of whom had starred in Troell films previously, had always been "obvious." Two years before filming started, Troell met Mikael Persbrandt at a film festival in Sweden and started to imagine him in the role of Sigfrid. Persbrandt then contacted Troell himself and persuaded him into giving him the role. A major difference between the film and the actual story is that the real Maria Larsson lived in Gothenburg, while the film takes place in Malmö, where Jan Troell himself comes from.
Filming took place between 26 February and 1 June 2007 in Malmö and Luleå, Sweden, and Vilnius, Lithuania. The film was shot on 16 mm film, and then blown up to 35 mm. "Then you get a little grainy picture that fits the turn of the [20th] century era and also relates to the early silent cinema. I have deliberately kept the colours down and used similar sepia tones as those in for example Victor Sjöström's films," Troell explains this idea.
The film premiered as part of the Masters selection at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. On 24 September the same year it was released in Sweden. IFC Films aqcuired the American distribution rights and gave the film a limited release on 6 March 2009. At its peak it was running in 30 theatres during the same weekend. It was released in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2009 through Icon Film. A US DVD and Blu-ray was released in June 2010 through The Criterion Collection, as part of a collaboration between The Criterion Collection and IFC Films.
The film has a 91% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 97 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5 out of 10. The average rating from 21 reviews collected at the Swedish-language site Kritiker.se was 4.0 out of 5.
In addition to the awards and nominations, Everlasting Moments was also Sweden's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards. It was among the nine films that made it to the January shortlist, but wasn't selected as one of the final nominees.