Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Oksana Akinshina
Artyom Bogucharsky
Elina Benenson
Pavel Ponomaryov.
Directors
Lukas Moodysson.
Screenwriters
Lukas Moodysson.
Running Time
109 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Hitman: Agent 47
2 Star Empire Rating
Barely Lethal
3 Star Empire Rating
Addicted To Sheep
4 Star Empire Rating
45 Years
4 Star Empire Rating
We Are Your Friends
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Lilya 4-ever
Lukas Moodysson's brutal social commentary on the neglect and abuse of young people set in the former Soviet Union


submit to reddit


Plot
Sixteen year-old Lilya lives in a grim town somewhere in the former Soviet Union. Abandoned by her mother, she struggles to fend for herself, finding comfort in her friendship with a younger boy, Volodya.


Review
Lukas Moodysson's last film, the much-loved art house hit Together, was a nostalgic, bittersweet comedy that started with an Abba tune. However, Lilya 4-Ever's opening scene is scored with the industrial metal stylings of Rammstein; a telling indication of how different the two films are.

Lilya 4-Ever is the anti-Together, a brutal social commentary on the neglect and abuse of young people. As Moodysson is raging against a system that tolerates such abuse, there are few joyous moments and no visceral thrills to be had here.

On one level, it's a politically direct film, reminiscent of Ken Loach at his most socially aware. On another, it's the darkest of fairy tales, complete with wicked aunts and guardian angels, and a redemptive 'happy ending' sacrificed in favour of one that's ambiguous, almost whimsical. At its centre is Oksana Akinshina's astonishing performance as the title character, a doe-eyed dreamer betrayed by hope.


Verdict
Lilya 4-Ever is undeniably depressing, but its bravery, commitment and depth mark its brilliance.


Reviewed by Michael Hayden

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Evil Media: Haunted TVs, Tapes And Tunes
Ten sinister reasons to go off-grid

Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)