(On Cable TV, January 2019) By now, I know enough about Swedish cinema to brace myself whenever my list of must-see movies brings me to another one of them. Oscar-nominated The Emigrants is not an Ingmar Bergman, even though his style and favourite actors (Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann) are clearly not too far away. (Actually, I’m being meaner to Bergman than I should—his movies usually have wit and a really good idea or two somewhere in them, and that is sorely missed here.) Telling us about the story of Swedish peasants emigrating to the United States in the 1850s, this movie is about as unromanticized a retelling of the American immigrant tale as possible: death, tragedy and misery await at every turn, and not even making it to destination can spare some family members. I suppose that the realistic portrayal has its place (and acts as a commemoration of sort for Swedish-Americans), but it quickly becomes an ordeal for viewers wondering when or even if this will ever end—at times, it feels as if the multi-month journey is taking place in real time. It’s long. Sooo looong. Frankly, I would have stopped watching The Emigrants had it not been Oscar-nominated.