Sweden, 2008, 103 min
Genre/Subjects: Comedy / Drama, Gay, Homophobia, Parenting / Family, Youth
Language: in Swedish with Russian and English subtitles
DIRECTOR: Ella Lemhagen
Cast: Gustaf Skarsgard, Torkel Petersson, Tom Ljungman
On an idyllic street in a colorful neighborhood, Goran and Sven seem to want the same thing as their hetero-normative neighbors: leisurely afternoons at block parties, raising a family, creating a beautiful garden. But the flowers won’t grow, the neighborhood kids yell “homo” at them, and Goran, prone to drinking, smoking and outbursts, is wary of their pending adoption, having already failed once as a father and husband.
When news of a 1.5-year-old baby boy Patrik arrives, Sven is bubbling with anticipation, and Goran even seems eager to welcome their adopted child into their home. Unfortunately, a typographical error has been made, and, instead of an infant, an embittered homophobic 15-year-old juvenile delinquent arrives on their tranquil street. The new gays on the block struggle to make it work as Sven reaches out, Goran’s trepidation escalates, and Patrik flat-out refuses to live with his new parents. As the tug of war between three very human and flawed personalities begins, an intriguing yet subtle series of events plays out, and it’s not apparent who is going to win the battle.
This beautifully shot feature by Ella Lemhagen is a heartwarming drama — dark in parts, sweet in others — but always extremely genuine. Nominated for two acting awards at the prestigious Guldbagge Awards in its native Sweden, Patrik, Age 1.5 glides to excellence on the backs of the main actors — who deftly earn our empathy at times and derision at others — but always perform smoothly and sensitively. Marek Wieser’s bright cinematography puts the final touch on this crowd pleaser.
2009 Audience Award for Best Feature, San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
2009 Rosebud Award for Best Feature, Verzaubert - International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival