Sweden’s entry for best foreign-language picture, the sentimental yet delightfully savage, sneakily supernatural “Border” (Gräns), is a bushel and peck of quirk and oddity, richly designed and with an elegantly structured screenplay by Isabella Eklöf and John Ajvide Lindqvist (“Let the Right One In”). Customs officer Tina (Eva Melander) possesses an uncanny sense of smell, known for homing in on the guilty. An odd-looking man named Vore (Eero Milonoff) enters her life, who slowly, steadily and with certainty, confuses her, her sense of scent, her sense of herself. Strange meets strange. Ali Abbasi’s direction embraces the characters, and thus, the stories that bloom around them like so much madness come to dark life. Where do Tina and Vore belong? Can they belong? The sense of being an outsider, of essential outsiderness, resonates in every scene. “Border” is a welcome melancholic romance to stand right beside Lindqvist’s unmatched novel and script for “Let The Right One In.” 110m. (Ray Pride)
“Border” is now playing at the Music Box.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.