Maya Dardel

An internationally respected poet announces she is going to kill herself and needs an heir and executor. Young writers drive up the mountain to compete for the position and are challenged intellectually, emotionally, and erotically.


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  • ★★★½ review by Scott AA Wilson on Letterboxd

    Maya Dardel is going to kill herself. Believing her most artistically productive days are behind her, she decides to audition young male writers to whom she can leave behind her earthly possessions.

    In a masterful turn from Lena Olin, Dardel is assertive, sexual, and has seen it all before. The men (or boys) are modern, homogenised, and Dardel just wants some authenticity – someone who writes because they absolutely have to write it down.

    It’s a cross-generational meeting of minds and cultural scenes, with a lot of philosophical and artistic pondering as Dardel and her would-be heirs get a feel for each other (figuratively and literally).

    It won’t be for everyone, but like Elle, it’s a film commanded by an older woman, a demographic often ignored on screen. Olin is balletic as she takes Dardel down an unchartered path towards death and cementing a legacy, while looking for someone who she believes deserves what she will leave behind.

  • ★★★★½ review by MaryAnn Johanson on Letterboxd

    Its feminist boldness crosses into the exhilarating. This is an unapologetic dare to accept a woman, with all her genius and all her faults — all her humanity — on full defiant display.

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  • ★★★½ review by Rob Dean on Letterboxd

    A sensuous yet cerebral film that veers close to pretension but ultimately is a strong meditation on art, life, and legacy. Strong performance by Lena Olin

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