Thanks to the inadvertent need to be draped in nostalgia all the time and due to the popularity of things, when done right, that are draped in nostalgia, Victor Danell’s newest feature, UFO Sweden is through and through a Swedish look at Steven Spielberg and The Duffer Brothers that is dripping with heart, just ultimately falling short of capturing those feelings that those two aforementioned directors managed to capture with their own works.
The movie focuses on Denise (Inez Dahl Torhaug) as she is in foster care, as eight years prior her dad, who was a UFO hunter, mysteriously vanished without a trace of him remaining making her and everyone else think that he just picked up and left. Denise has a hard time believing her dad just left, and even believes in aliens, but there is no other scientific reasoning behind his disappearance. However, one day, mysteriously, his 90s red Saab 900 plummets from the sky and lands in a barn and it leads Denise on an adventure to believe in the unbelievable and find out what truly happened to her father. She is not in this journey alone though, she gets her dads old buddies involved in the form of Lennart (Jesper Barkselius) to get to the bottom of all of this and truly find out what happened to her dad.
There is a lot of heart and love in the movie, but it does get a little bogged down by the backstory of the scientific community and the people behind her dad’s work who secretly are still trying to discover the truth and if we really are alone out here. While the heart and soul of the films lays with Denise and to an extent Lennart, it is the subplot and challenge of the old guard that gets in the way of the story truly becoming one of those classic movies.
Moreover though, Inez delivers a terrific performance and truly is the lifeblood of the film and the beating heart that is going to captivate the audiences and be the emotional crutch to get them hooked. She is perfectly cast in this role and proves that she is a force to be reckoned with and does justice by Victor Danell and Jimmy Nivren Olsson’s script. With her passion and charisma carrying the film along with the charm and 90s aesthetic Olsson and Danell bring with Danell’s hand behind the camera as well. UFO Sweden is sure to charm audiences looking for that nostalgic trip back to their childhood.
UFO Sweden screens 7:00PM, Thursday, October 19 at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival! The Canadian Premiere! Tickets are available here: https://www.cineplex.com/movie/ufo-sweden-swedish-west-tadff-2023