Glowing Stars ★★★★

A promising feature-film directorial debut by Lisa Siwe, "Glowing Stars" is an insightful and touching Swedish teenage drama that avoids sentimentality and—in a positive way—feels longer than its 90-minute running time. All the characters are completely believable, and the entire film is pervaded by an air of authenticity. The ending is perhaps a little too pat, but, at the same time, it is full of hope and shows Jenna, the main character, beginning to fulfill the promise she has written down on a piece of paper. Josefine Mattsson and Mika Berndtsdotter Ahlén give shining, natural performances as Jenna and Ullis, respectively; Annika Hallin elicits sympathy as Liv, Jenna’s mother, who is suffering from cancer; Anki Lidén is very good in the role of Ingrid, Jenna’s grandmother.