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MAX EMBARRASSING, 2008
Movie Reviews!

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MAX EMBARRASSING,     MOVIE POSTERMAX EMBARRASSING, 2008
Movie Reviews

Directed by Lotte Svendsen
Starring: Samuel Heller-Seiffert, Mette Agnete Horn, Lars Bom, Louise Mieritz, Rasmus Bjerg
Review by Martyn Warren


SYNOPSIS:

Max thinks that his mother is maximum embarrassing, and says a lot of un-cool things. At the same time, he is burning for a chance to impress the new girl in his class.

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REVIEW:

With the BFI Fifty Third London Film Festival underway in Britain, there are lots of films being shown for the first time towards British audiences. In celebration of the festival, I decided to review one of the films shown at the festival, Max Embarrassing (dir. Lotte Svendsen).

The story of the film follows Max (Samuel Heller-Seiffert), a twelve year old boy who tries to deal with many embarrassing and weird situations from school and his personal life during a winter season, from his mother inviting an ex-prisoner to live with them for a few days to his mother talking loudly in a shop about the time he accidentally wet himself.

What makes the story very human and humorous for me personally was how well the writer had captured the emotions of each of the individual characters, especially with the child characters. It is also the relationship that Max and his mother have that is done very well, capturing the embarrassment that he has with a mother to have open-minded and individual characteristics.

All of the actors and actresses in this film portrayed their characters brilliantly and unlike most child star performers the UK and America, they actually did a brilliant job.

Before talking about the child actors and actresses, I want to talk about the adult performers and how well they played the most surreal and embarrassing parents throughout the film. The actress who plays as Maxís mother does a brilliant job as playing the zany woman who is trying to get her book completed while also doing her best to make her son happy. Another adult performer I would like to talk about is the actor who played as Maxís neighbour and he does a brilliant job at pushing himself through odd challenges so that his character can be ready for his next major film.

By far, the children are the main focus point of the film and the two in particular I will talk about is the actor who played Max and the actress who played as his love interest. They were both great when they shared a scene and had good chemistry of two characters who are confronting these very mature emotions and feelings. Since the film does focus a lot on Max though, the actor did a brilliant job at creating a very believable and human twelve-year-old character.

The director and writer of the film have made a very humorous film that is very human that can relate to people who are or were twelve years old. I havenít seen a film dealing with childhood and youth as well since Let The Right One In (dir. Thomas Alfredson).

After the film was screened, the director walked in-front of the audience and they were given the opportunity to ask her questions and she was expressing her opinion and views of how youth are portrayed in the media and what consequences it has towards the public. With this in mind, I had the impression that she used this film as a means to express how she personally sees childhood and this doesnít resemble most British and American films with children or young adults in the lead act like the typical bad rebellious child, which makes the film feel fresh in terms of characteristics.

One of the strongest elements that this film had was managing to make the audience laugh with it and not at it, which can easily be a hard thing for a foreign language film to do towards an English-speaking audience. With this in mind, this proves to show how successful this film could be and with a sequel already set to be filmed, I canít wait to see what the director will do with these lovable characters.

My overall opinion on Max Embarrassing is to put it simply one of the most unexpected and wonderful surprises I have seen in recent years and even if people are a bit put off by the fact that itís foreign and in subtitles, this a very lovable and enjoyable film that everyone would relate to. Itís definitely, without a question, one of my highlights at the cinema this year.

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