Snow Angels ~ A Mild Spoiler Review

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Photo montage of scenes from Snow Angels. Central image is the theatrical poster for the show.

🇸🇪 SNOW ANGELS 🇸🇪

Snow Angels aka Snöängler (2021) is a Swedish crime/drama/mystery/thriller series. Available on All4 Walter Presents U.K.; Stan Australia. 6×1 hr episodes. In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.

Premise:

“Two days before Christmas, while Sweden is paralyzed by a heavy snowstorm, the five-week-old baby Lucas inexplicably disappears from his home. The experienced police officer Alice thinks that something is not right in the parents’ stories.” IMDb

Cast:

Josefin Asplund as Jenni
Ardalan Esmaili as Salle
Eva Melander as Alice
Maria Rossing as Maria
Cecilia Nilsson as Kajsa
Mattias Nordkvist as Patrik
Nikole Baronas as Nicole
Ylvali Rurling as Emma
Pablo Leiva Wenger as Mikael
Shanti Roney as Martin
Lola Zackow as Ida
Johanne Louise Schmidt as Anika
Albin Grenholm as Stellan
Jimmy Lindström as Carl
Niklas Herskind as David
Kalled Mustonen as Mido
Ralph Carlsson as Rikard
Selma Caglar as Arif

Crew:

Director: Anna Zackrisson
Writers: Andreas Garfield, Mette Heeno, Marie Osterley
Composer: Brockas
Cinematographer: Andréas Lennartsson
Editors: Linda Jildmalm, Malin Lindström
Costume Designer: Linn Eklund
Make-Up Designer: Daniela Krestelica
Music Supervisor: Anoo Bhagavan
Special Effects Supervisor: Johan Harnesk

Theatrical poster for the show Snow Angels

Notes:

The cast of this series includes as leads Josefin Esplund (Vikings, Top Dog, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the award-winning actor Ardalan Esmaili (White Wall, The Rain, Rebecka Martinsson, Greyzone and the upcoming Black Crab). Also amongst the top cast is Eva Melander (Border, Jordskott, Beck, Rebecka Martinsson, The Unlikely Murderer) who is also award-winning. Maria Rossing will likely be familiar from productions such as (The Bombardment, Equinox).

The supporting cast includes Cecilia Nilsson (Spring Tide, The Sandhamn Murders).
Shanti Roney is a stalwart of Arne Dahl along with Hassel, The Captor, Quicksand, Wisting and The Unlikely Murderer. Jimmy Lindström will be familiar to those who have watched A Very Scandi Scandal, Box 21, The Unlikely Murderer and The Restaurant. Kalled Mustonen played Pawel in Before We Die and has also been in productions such as Quicksand, Álex, Hassel, Rebecka Martinsson, Caliphate, Beck and Red Dot. Peter Carlberg is a familiar face from Spring Tide, A Very Scandi Scandal, Let the Right One In, Bonus Family, The Truth Will Out and Young Royals.

This series was filmed in Stockholm.

Special Effects Supervisor Johan Harnesk has also worked on productions such as Arne Dahl, Easy Money ll and lll, Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves, Wallander, Blue Eyes, Jordskott, A Man Called Ove, The Last King, A Serious Game, Spring Tide, Sami Blood, The King’s Choice, Midnight Sun, The 12th Man, Stockholm Requiem, Gåsmamman, Before We Die, Caliphate, Thicker Than Water, Top Dog, The Lawyer, The Sandhamn Murders, Red Dot, Snabba Cash, The Unlikely Murderer, Anxious People, Beck and Black Crab.

Andréas Lennartsson was also the cinematographer on projects such as Thicker Than Water, Before We Die and Beck.

Writer Andreas Garfield has written episodes of Ride Upon the Storm, Equinox and wrote the storyline of When the Dust Settles. Marie Østerbye was a writer for The Rain, When the Dust Settles, Rita (Head Writer) and created Deliver Us.

Linda Jildmalm also edited on Spring Tide and The Restaurant. Malin Lindström was the editor on projects such as Spring Tide, The Truth Will Out, The Restaurant and Caliphate.

As a costume designer Linn Eklund also worked on Caliphate (amongst other projects).

⚠️ This review contains some spoilers ⚠️

Review:

It has felt that I had been waiting so long for Snow Angels as I was aware of this show from when it was being filmed. Was it worth the wait?

Firstly, I would like to mention the performances in this miniseries series which I thought were truly excellent. Josefin Asplund is very impressive as Jenni and I thought Ardalan Esmaili was outstanding. Eva Melander was as impressive as ever and the rest of the supporting cast is as solid as a rock. Where do they get such great child actors from for some of these shows?

Ardalan Esmaili (right) as Salle and Josefin Asplund (left) as Jenni in a scene from Snow Angels

Motherhood is a main theme of Snow Angels as is fatherhood. The way this story pans out we should be able to see that Jenni is depressed both before and after baby Lucas’s birth. We may feel no sympathy for her choices but by the same token as the series goes on we should be able to see why she is as she is and why she self-medicates.

Josefin Asplund as Jenni in a scene from Snow Angels sitting on a sofa with a baby on her lap while speaking on a mobile phone.

Likewise, with Salle (as an ex-addict) we learn that he works all the hours God sends to save enough to get his family out of there. He is a man who feels the societal pressure of being the breadwinner and the means of “salvation” to the extent that he loses focus on what the situation really is and where he needs to be in the here and now.

Ardalan Esmaili as Salle in a scene from Snow Angels. Here he is on a balcony smoking a cigarette wearing a hoodie.

Their young, deaf daughter turns off her hearing aids as an avoidance technique to what is going on around her (perhaps a metaphor for those viewers who also tune out the more than uncomfortable).

This is an awful and highly realistic situation for this family to be in and Snow Angels is a blistering social commentary in many ways. We see that the views of some professionals are very much tainted by the social class (and how “nice”) a family or mother is that they are dealing with. We also witness a child’s welfare is often compromised due to funding and caseloads.

Maria Rossing as Maria in a scene from Snow Angels. Here she is dressed in a nurse’s uniform with a patient’s file in her hands.

One of the things we also see is the long-term effects of inadequate (or worse) parenting upon children into adulthood. We also see how hard it is for professionals to help and for those at risk (and here I mean the whole family) to seek help. This is often because “help” is seen as judgmental and potentially punitive. It is a question left with us of how damaged a young girl will be by what has happened.

I was not too sure about the subplot of the pregnant teenager. I can see that it was needed to push certain parts of the story but I was left feeling rather unaffected by it.

At first, when the twist in the tail comes and we are told who has taken the baby I was also not completely sold, however, by the end this was resolved so satisfactorily (albeit tragically) that my initial wavering was set aside.

Eva Melander as Alice in a scene from Snow Angels.

This is not a show that is a bundle of laughs however it does have some really sweet moments to offset the overall grimness. The decorating of faces with glitter and gems, a trip for a meal and to an arcade which ends with parents swinging their daughter between them…

I loved the cinematography and visuals in this. It is very much “fly on the wall” and highly realistic for the most part. The colours are mostly washed out, grim, wintery and gloomy. The editing of the story itself is excellent. The special effects such as falling through ice into water and expressing milk are excellent.

Maria Rossing as Maria (right) with Niklas Herskind as David (left) in a scene from Snow Angels.

I really need to single out the sound design of this show. The sound effects of taking out hearing aids are fantastic! I loved the music throughout and the song used the opening credits sequence which was very original I thought.

TV series should make the viewer feel and this series certainly achieved that.

Having watched all of Snow Angels I think it is safe to say that this is a hard watch, for some probably too hard. There are very uncomfortable and challenging moments scattered throughout this miniseries whether it be parental neglect, drug use or related tales of child abuse.

What this show does do, and personally I think it does it extremely well, is ask big very hard questions not only of the “system, nor even of individual’s choices and actions but, and I think just as importantly, what our own prejudices and views are. Are we into the easy and somewhat comforting standpoint of a “blame game” of people with whom we find hard to empathise? Is it all too easy to apportion blame to individuals, or “the system” without looking at the context in which these people exist? One thing is sure though, decisions have consequences but not all consequences can be foreseen.

I found Snow Angels to be an excellent production if a very hard watch at times. I am slightly bemused as to why it has received relatively little awards recognition, but perhaps it was just a tough year for competition…

Awards:

1 Nomination

Nomination:
Robert Awards (2022) Best TV Series ~ Anna Zackrisson, Mette Heeno, Georgie Mathew, Happy Ending Film, Yellow Bird

Trailer:

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