Film Marie O'Sullivan's Film Reviews

Film Review: Becoming Astrid (2018)

Becoming Astrid

A beautifully-costumed period drama about the early life of the Scandinavian author who created Pippi Longstocking.


Astrid Ericsson is a free-spirited teenager living in rural Sweden in the 1920s. She takes an opportunity to develop her writing skills at the local newspaper, but when she finds herself pregnant she has choices to make about how her life, and that of her young son, will be.

In fact, it’s not until after the film ends that Astrid becomes the celebrated author of Pippi Longstocking, with the film looking at just a few years of her life before she even begins thinking of a career as a writer of children’s fiction.

And so if you’re a fan of the Pippi Longstocking stories then you won’t find moments where Astrid sits down and hovers with pen over paper waiting for inspiration to strike. What you will find though are pointers as to how events in her early life were a catalyst for some of the themes of her writing. Her early adulthood is full of sadness, disappointment and tough times, but Astrid is a resilient soul and manages to bounce back each time.

In truth this is a solid period biopic about a remarkable young woman, elevated by a great performance from Alba August as Astrid at the centre and Danish actress Trine Dyrholm in a supporting role. It has some interesting things to say about the position of women in Sweden and Denmark at the time and is proficiently brought together by director Pernille Fischer Christensen.

It’s a sweet, non-flashy story which doesn’t quite live up to the promised description, but which is probably worth a watch for fans of her work.

Becoming Astrid opens on 23rd November

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