🇸🇪 🇳🇴 DIORAMA 🇳🇴 🇸🇪
Diorama (2022) is a Norwegian-Swedish feature film available on Netflix. 1 hour 39 minutes long in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish with English subtitles. Rated 15 U.K.
“It follows Frida and Björn’s love story, from passion to marriage to family life, from a scientific perspective.” IMDb
Pia Tjelta as Frida
David Dencik as Björn
Claes Bang as Ben
Gustav Lindh as Teun
Sverrir Gudnason as Adam
Morgan Alling as Tupp
Sara Shirpey as Christine
Shanti Roney as Martin
Johan Rabaeus as Peter
Gunnel Fred as Marianne
Linda Santiago as Joanna
Göran Ragnerstam as Jon
Writer: Tuva Novotny
Director: Tuva Novotny
Cinematographer: Sophie Winqvist
Editor: Carla Luffe
Production Designer: Malin Kihlberg
Art Director: Elma Smajic
Costume Designer: Margrét Einarsdóttir
“Wow!” this film has a fantastic cast! This was my first thought upon seeing that Diorama had arrived without fanfare on Netflix. I love David Dencik and Claes Bang as actors, and many of the rest of the cast, so what could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, quite a lot.
A minor (for me) irritation is that I could only get English close captioning and not subtitles for this film.
Diorama has very good acting but was a very peculiar watch. Parts are done on a stage/studio with people dressed as animals, other parts interviewing experts in how the brain works and so on in animals and humans. I can see exactly what they were getting at but it came over as gimmicky and pulled me entirely out of the unfolding relationship drama. I think perhaps animated sections or captions might have worked better. I think I was supposed to be laughing at the animals. Was I? I’m not sure, because I only recall laughing once. It did rather remind me of watching school Nativity plays…
Diorama has one marriage as its central story and parts of that worked well but the breaks to the silly animals kept breaking any dramatic tension that built up. And they are SO very silly I found I was watching them instead of listening to what they were saying, which was, I assume not what I was supposed to do. And this as someone who LOVES tonal shifts in films and TV shows… when they are done well.
The acting of the straight drama of the relationship between the main couple, their marriage, how it disintegrates and the fall-out, eventually leading to a more amicable “resolution” was excellent. I also felt that the drama went on a bit too much and became repetitive.
I very much liked the use of music in this.
It didn’t hit me in my feelings as much as I think it needed to and should have. Tuva Novotny wrote and directed it and it is definitely “auteur” but it left me quite cold. I also found my attention drifting far too often.
All in all, I cannot recommend Diorama as an overall viewing experience.
Trailer (no subtitles):
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