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Becoming Astrid
Actress Alba August is luminous portraying beloved children’s author Astrid Lindgren of the Pippi Longstocking series in this Swedish language film, Becoming Astrid. Her performance from gawky teenager to a young woman is convincing, tender and compassionate.

Bored and restless, Astrid lived with her large family in rural Sweden. At age 16, she began a job at the local newspaper, first writing up ads and obituary notices, then gained new responsibilities of writing articles. An attraction developed between her married editor and herself and Astrid is soon pregnant. This is really where the story begins. She is forced to move away from her family because of the social mores of the time, around 1926. When her child is born, she must leave him with a foster mother in Denmark. When Astrid finds out that the foster mother can no longer care for young Lasse, she must step up and bring him home. To comfort her son who she barely knows, we see the beginnings of her story-telling talent as she weaves tales to ease his anxiety of being separated from the only person he knew as his mother.

Though her burdens are great, there is a brightness and humanity in how all the actors depict these real-life individuals. It was especially heartwarming to see a reconciliation with her estranged mother. I highly recommend this movie; watch with a box of tissues close at hand.

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