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The Good Son (Hyvä poika), dir. Zaida Bergroth, Finland, 2011
Hyvä poika (The Good Son)
dir. Zaida Bergroth
Finland, 2011, 88 minutes
Finnish with English subtitles

Bright Nights: The 5th Baltic-Nordic Film Festival
Richcraft Hall Theatre (formerly River Building), Carleton University, Friday, February 13, 2015, 7:00 pm
Bergroth’s second feature film is a black comedy with sinister undertones, revolving around a psychologically troubling relationship between a profoundly diva-ish film star mother and her teenage son. Leila (Elina Knihtilä), a middle-aged and profoundly narcissistic actress, is constantly surrounded by scandal. Vain and demanding, she’s relied on her oldest son Illmari (Samuli Niittymäki) for everything from career and emotional support to housekeeping duties. Taking Illmari and his little brother with her on a weekend “break” to their lakeside cabin, a bored Leila invites a drunken coterie of friends and sycophants to join them. Enter screenwriter Aimo (Eero Aho), who immediately catches Leila’s eye. Illmari is not amused. Tension mounts. “Bergroth treads a fine line, offering up, on the one hand, a devastating satire of showbiz life and, on the other, a serious drama about a psychologically damaged youth. This rare thematic coupling is as unsettling as it is richly satisfying.” Palm Springs International Film Festival. English sub-titles.