The Wedding Photographer ★★★★

"The Wedding Photographer" is frequently very funny in an appropriately restrained way, particularly with regard to its presumably astute observations of the rules of upper-class life, but its more serious undercurrent is what makes this drama/comedy rise above the standards of its genre. Writer/director Ulf Malmros has done a commendable job, giving us an unexpectedly insightful film with a multilayered and engaging story.

One of my favorite scenes shows the main character and his parents using different-colored highlighter pens, one for each family member, to highlight in their TV guide the TV programs they do not want to miss; that scene really hit home with me because I used to do just that (not the rest of my family, though). Toward the end, the movie becomes surprisingly affecting as a result of a tragic event that involves one of the central characters.

Mats Olofsson’s cinematography is quite good, giving the beautifully lensed proceedings a decidedly realistic look. The unobtrusive score works well for the material. A few—three, I think—key scenes are memorably emphasized by a very distinctive sound. Moreover, the ominous rumbling of a thunderstorm—"The Wedding Photographer" opens with storm clouds approaching the camera—can be heard in other important scenes.

The performances are solid. Björn Starrin impresses in the lead role, even though his character sometimes functions only as an observer. Among the other cast members, Kjell Bergqvist, Tuva Novotny, and Johannes Brost stand out positively; Bergqvist’s performance is arguably one of the highlights of the movie.