It’s kind of been a minute since we heard from Swedish writer/director Lukas Moodysson, at least in the world of film. Known for his often tender, heartfelt, and yet uncompromising works generally centered around children or coming of age tales, Moodysson made his name with films like “Show Me Love” and “Lilya 4-ever.” His last film, however, was 2013’s exuberant teen/punk coming of age film “We Are the Best!” and it’s been mostly silence since—even for his career as a novelist (his last book is 2012). Whatever the reason for the break, the filmmaker finally returns and now in series form with “Gösta,” a twelve-episode show for HBO Europe.
The show centers on the titular Gösta, a 28-year-old child psychologist who gets his first job in a small rural area. Moving from Stockholm, he rents a cabin in the middle of the forest and wants to help everyone he meets, but life isn’t that simple. Here’s the long-form synopsis:
HBO Europe presents GÖSTA from Swedish writer/director Lukas Moodysson (“Show Me Love”). This heartwarming, heart-wrenching new series explores the humor and tragedy of trying to do good in a dysfunctional world. On the heels of his first job offer, Gösta, a 28-year-old child psychologist, moves from Stockholm to the small, rural Swedish town of Småland. While he sets out to be relentlessly kind and help everyone he meets, not all of Gösta’s noble efforts have happy endings. At his idyllic cottage in the middle of the woods, Gösta hosts a Syrian refugee, Hussein, and simultaneously tries to keep his long-distance relationship alive with his girlfriend Melissa, but things in this small, serene household grow increasingly chaotic following the arrival of Gösta’s fractious, unpredictable father Tomas. Over the course of twelve half-hour episodes, Gösta, struggles to keep everything in order as his life becomes unhinged.
The series actually premiered in Sweden and various parts of Europe in 2019, but all episodes will be available in the U.S. beginning Monday, August 31 on HBO and HBO Max. Vilhelm Blomgren stars as Gösta, and is joined by Amy Deasismont as Melissa, Nidhal Fares as Hussein, Mattias Silvell as Pappa, Clara Drake as Saga, Regina Lund as Mom, Elisabet Carlsson as Lotta and Gustav Berg as Jonas.
Check out the first trailer below and let’s all welcome back Lukas Moodysson to the world of film and television.