Review: A Beautiful Life, Denmark’s musical love story

Christopher in A Beautiful Life

A Beautiful Life tells the story of Elliott (Christopher), a hard-working fisherman with musical talent. He’s accidentally discovered by the widow and daughter of a famous Danish musician who work to make him known.

In A Beautiful Life, Elliott works on a fishing boat. He also lives on a boat. He saves his money inside a box in the innards of his piano. He agrees to help his friend Oliver (Sebastian Jessen) play a gig.

Oliver wants to impress Suzanne (Christine Albeck Børge). She’s the widow of a famous singer. She has the ability to create stars. Oliver is so unimpressive, Suzanne starts to leave the gig. Then Elliott takes over the singing and everyone perks up.

Christine Albeck Børge and Christopher in A Beautiful Life

Suzanne wants to record the song Elliott sings to her and put it on YouTube to see if there’s any response. (Christopher wrote all the music for the film.) The response is immediate and huge.

Christopher and Inga Ibsdotter Lilleaas in A Beautiful Life

Suzanne’s daughter Lilly (Inga Ibsdotter Lilleaas) is a music producer in London. Lilly is mourning the loss of her father and doesn’t get along with her mother. She’s reluctant to stay in Denmark and produce music for this unknown fisherman. She finally agrees.

Inga Ibsdotter Lilleaas looks so much like Cobie Smulders, I actually looked her up to see if they were related. They are not. However I’m secretly sure that in some other world in the multiverse they are mother and daughter. Just a theory, folks.

Of course, Lilly and Elliott fall in love. There are complications with that. When Elliott becomes a big hit and fills stadiums with adoring fans, Oliver gets jealous. There are complications with that. Being suddenly famous has complications, too. In one sense, this is a love story, but it’s also more than that. It’s about finding yourself and knowing who you are and what your life is really about. It’s about figuring out how to live a beautiful life.

The characters speak to each other in Danish, but there’s plenty of English spoken. All the songs are in English. This film is streaming on Netflix.

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