Sweet Land (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sweet Land2006

Sweet Land (2006)



Critic Consensus: Finding the right balance between subtle and sentimental, Sweet Land moves beyond other similarly-themed dramas with evocative cinematography that plays an equal role to the talented cast.

Sweet Land Photos

Movie Info

A European exile finds herself a stranger in a strange land when she comes to the United States in this independent romantic comedy-drama. As a man ponders what to do with his family's estate after the death of his grandmother, he thinks back to how she first came to America shortly after World War I. Olaf (Tim Guinee) is a Norwegian-American farmer looking for a wife to share his home on the Minnesota prairie, and with eligible women in short supply locally, he sends away for a mail-order bride. Inge Ottenberg (Elizabeth Reaser) soon arrives at Olaf's doorstep, but while she's pretty, smart, and amiable, he's taken aback to discover she's not Norwegian but German, which after several years of anti-German propaganda does not make her popular with her new neighbors. Inge isn't very good with English, making it even harder to keep her background a secret, and the local pastor, Rev. Sorrensen (John Heard), is so outraged at the presence of a presumed Hun he refuses to perform their wedding. But Inge struggles to make friends with her new neighbors, in particular Olaf's best friend, Frandsen (Alan Cumming), a gadget fancier whose wife, Brownie (Alex Kingston), is better with mechanical items than he is. In time, Inge's cheerful nature and love of music begin to make an impression on the community as she shares her favorite tunes on her ever-present gramophone. Sweet Land was the first feature film from writer and director Ali Selim. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Watch it now


Elizabeth Reaser
as Inge Altenberg
Tim Guinee
as Olaf Torvik
Lois Smith
as older Inge
Alan Cumming
as Frandsen
John Heard
as Minister Sorrensen
Tom Gilroy
as Karl Vik
Stephen Pelinksi
as Older Lars
Stephen Pelinski
as older Lars
Paul Sand
as older Frandsen
Sage Kermes
as Mae Torvik
Karen Landry
as Rose Torvik
Robert Hogan
as older Olaf
James Cada
as Minister Thorwald
Charlotta Mohlin
as Else Jorgensdatter
Stephen D'Ambrose
as Clerk of Court
Raye Birk
as Postal Clerk
Jodie Markell
as Donna Torvik
Stephen Yoakam
as Einar Torvik
James R. Bakkom
as Station Master
Tony Pappenfuss
as Gentleman Bidder
Wayne A. Evenson
as Judge Sundby
View All

News & Interviews for Sweet Land

Critic Reviews for Sweet Land

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (30)

At once epic and intimate, Sweet Land offers a stirring account of love and hardship which, aside from a muffed Capra moment towards the end, hardly puts a foot wrong.

September 5, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Nostalgic, gentle, loving: the elegiac mood set against endless rural space inevitably suggests Malick's Days of Heaven. What next from this considerable talent?

September 5, 2008 | Full Review…

Pleasant surprise of the week, a US indie so unashamedly romantic about pie, cornfields, family and baseball you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching a Presidential campaign video.

September 5, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Here is a nicely photographed, but bland, insipid and weirdly passive-aggressive little film.

September 5, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Minnesota between the wars is a bone yard for dreams, yet, like Babette's Feast, the film plucks a tiny miracle from stony ground.

September 5, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Echoing Malick's 'Days of Heaven' in the way it captures the majesty of the American countryside, this is a small gem that's worth seeking out.

September 5, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sweet Land


Worth seeking out, this bare tale of a German immigrant's attempt at assimulation in a wartime Minnesota suspicious of any foreigners is steady and sure, and beautiful throughout, not rushing to its long telegraphed conclusion.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


What a nice movie! This is a perfect example of the kind of movie that I am always searching for. One of those little gems that I can curl up on the couch and let myself be carried away by. I just loved everything about it. I originally found it by searching for movies that Elizabeth Reaser was in. I really like the roles she chooses. I am so happy that I stumbled across this wonderful movie.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Really good movie.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

Sweet Land Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features