TIFF review: Stupid Young Heart

Sensitively observed Finnish film about a pregnant 15-year-old girl and her boyfriend is much more than a teen romance

STUPID YOUNG HEART CWC D: Selma Vilhunen. Finland/Netherlands/Sweden. 102 min. Sep 8, 7:15 pm, Scotiabank 11 Sep 10, 11:30 am, AGO Sep 15, 8 pm, Scotiabank 7. See listing. Rating: NNNN

When 15-year-old Kiira (Rosa Honkonen) gets pregnant, she and her equally young boyfriend, Lenni (Jere Ristseppä) decide to keep the baby. It’s clear from the start the young parents are hoping to create the family they always wanted – both live with their single moms who aren’t invested in them. But the novelty of playing house doesn’t last long, and their future looks dire without jobs or money.

Set against the backdrop of immigration tension in Finland and the rise of neo-Nazis, Stupid Young Heart is more than a teen romance. Vilhunen explores real hardships of the working-class, and her portrayal of teens is heartbreakingly authentic. Honkonen and Ristseppä give sensitive performances that will haunt you after the final scene.

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