Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)
June 28, 2020 8:50 AM - Subscribe

When aspiring musicians Lars and Sigrit are given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their country at the world's biggest song competition, they finally have a chance to prove that any dream is a dream worth fighting for.

Come for the gorgeous Icelandic scenery, stay for the surprisingly warm hearted Eurovision parody. (And the party sing-along cameo sequence!)

Streaming on Netflix.
posted by the primroses were over (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm extremely hit or miss on Will Ferrell's comedic sensibilities, but I thought this was (mostly) on the silly/warm hearted end of his ouevre. Just like in the fictional band, however, McAdams is the star.

I was worried this movie was going to make Eurovision the butt of the joke, but it surprised me - I think they took it on its own terms and also came up with some awesome fake songs.

There were some uncomfortable parts - not sure the throwaway reference to Russia's persecution of LGBT people fit the silly tone of the movie (but also, not wrong!). I liked the Alexander Lemtov character in general, and thought that was an interesting angle to take on the outside threat to our main duo, as opposed to a boring old love triangle. But it felt pretty dark/realistic for an otherwise bubbly comedy.

I was a bit weirded out by the portrayal of small town Iceland as well, but they went extremely hard on making fun of the US tourists, I guess to balance it out? I did love the elves, gonna be gasping "the elves went too far" at my boyfriend alot in the near future.

I liked that the villain was austerity measures personified.

The cast's ages are pretty hilarious. Rachel McAdams and Will Ferrell are approximately the same age, and Pierce Brosnan is Will Ferrell's father? Sure, Jan. But I liked them all in their roles, so whatever.

The ending could have pissed me off - in general I am not a fan of the "out of his league woman helps a manchild douche grow up the tiniest bit and they live happily ever after" trope, but McAdams sold me enough on this being what would truly make Sigrit happy that I will allow it.
posted by the primroses were over at 9:17 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]

From the general buzz I've heard online, Eurovision fans love it. It's the Will Ferrell fans that aren't impressed, for whatever reason.
posted by Naberius at 10:51 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]

I liked this quite a bit. It was a little too long and sagged quite a bit at times, but David Dobkin did not disappoint with the set pieces (much in the same way as Wedding Crashers), and Rachel McAdams stole the entire show.

But seriously, the romantic angle was entirely unnecessary.
posted by General Malaise at 4:41 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

We watched this last night, I was hopeful but a big part of me was expecting to be disappointed. It was pretty good. We laughed, quite a few times. I was quite surprised to see Ferrell was half the writing team, someone had a pretty good eye and ear for the minutiae of Eurovision and the whole thing was pretty nicely done in terms of tone. Ferrell was kept on enough of a leash not to kill things. I'm not generally a Dan Stevens fan but he was just the right amount of over the top. McAdams was solid and gave a well judged performance. Two hours felt like a lot at the 90minute mark but it worked out ok. Overall pretty good, worth a watch, I suspect it would make more sense for people with some familiarity with the ESC.
posted by biffa at 4:58 PM on June 28

I really enjoyed Dan Stevens's character and liked how they made him a pretty sweet guy, all in all.
posted by gaspode at 5:45 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]

I was quite surprised to see Ferrell was half the writing team, someone had a pretty good eye and ear for the minutiae of Eurovision and the whole thing was pretty nicely done in terms of tone.

I can’t find it now, but I read an article that said Ferrell was a big fan of Eurovision, so I think you may have answered your own mystery.
posted by jimw at 8:54 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

Vox's interview with director Dan Dobkin: When I [came to] the movie, it was a script already. Will [Ferrell] had pursued it; he had fallen in love [with the idea] and wanted to make the movie for almost two decades, and had put a lot of thought and time into it.

From Slate: Iceland’s Real-Life Eurovision Contestant on What It’s Like to Watch Will Ferrell (Sort of) Play Him in a Netflix Movie:
What did you think of Pierce Brosnan’s Icelandic? How did he do?
Not so good! ... I had to turn on the subtitles to understand him.

posted by ShooBoo at 9:00 PM on June 28 [7 favorites]

Ha, I like that Slate article.
- The most accurate part of the movie is that audiences always want to hear “Jaja Ding Dong.”
- Wait, is that a real song?!
- No.
posted by whir at 9:27 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]

I mean, the least realistic part of the movie is that the UK would have won Eurovision the previous year to be hosting now. They even have a line about it.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:03 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]

Whenever any film is Suddenly UK, I figure the Doylist reason is the big tax credit they offer.

The romance was unfortunate (because there was absolutely nothing attractive or romantically appealing about the Will Ferrell character), but I like that all the other contestants were sweet. And I think my favorite joke is perhaps a) elves are real and b) they do not fuck around. With that in mind, it's not surprising that Sigrit ended up with her requested baby by the end.

If anyone else really liked that striped jacket, "Hudson Bay blanket coat" seem to be the magic words for google.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:12 AM on June 29 [3 favorites]

After watching this I went and watched the Eurivision specials they have on their YouTube channel and I was impressed by how right they got a lot of the songs. Though they did miss the sheer randomness of some of the entries, though I guess that was necessary to focus on the oddball Icelanders.

My favourite bit was Lars saying he would leave the knife in case the elves needed to do more murders. .
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:10 PM on July 1

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