Oscar Nominee Selma Vilhunen Puts Open Relationship At The Heart Of ‘Four Little Adults,’ First Clip Debuts (EXCLUSIVE)

Sales agency LevelK has unveiled the first clip (below) of Selma Vilhunen’s “Four Little Adults”, which will be shown at the Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam and then Goteborg. The film shows a happily married couple who are faced with an affair and then try to embrace her, welcoming the husband’s lover into her daily routine. And that is just the beginning.

The film was produced by Tuffi Films, with Aurora Films, Hobab, and Manny Films also on board. It stars Eero Milonoff (“Border”) and Alma Pöysti (“Tove”).

“All my life I have been wondering about monogamy. I guess I’ve been questioning my own choices, what they’re based on and if it’s really the right way to live”, says the Finnish filmmaker.

As conversations about alternative relationships grew stronger (“especially in Finland,” she notes), Vilhunen also turned to “More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory” by Eve Rickert and Franklin Veaux.

“It’s an important book,” she says. “It questions some of the structures that we have created in our society, thousands of years ago, when these ideas of owning land, animals and people first occurred to us. It just made me very curious.”

Vilhunen, who also wrote the script, wanted to “write about love,” he says.

Vilhunen, who was nominated for an Oscar for the short film “Do I have to take care of everything?”, explored the theme in “Little Wing,” about a mother and daughter, and the 2019 Crystal Bear winner “Stupid Young Heart,” focusing on prospective teen parents. But it’s been a while since he focused on the more mature incarnation of him.

“In 2007, I made a TV movie called ‘Pietà.’ These were people in their twenties, my age at the time. It is very true that I am interested in love as a subject and polyamory could be seen in its most complete form. You allow your loved one to love other people too.”

But good intentions are one thing, figuring out all the logistics is quite another. Which, unsurprisingly, lands its characters in a lot of awkward situations.

“It was fun. I felt like I could write about everything precisely because they’re middle-aged. They’ve been through a lot already,” she says.

“This discomfort was at the very core of my initial idea, even the title is a nod to its imperfections. They are going into these situations honestly; they don’t mind being ‘sexy’. But it’s interesting to see how hard it is to do the right thing, to be a good person.”

Especially when other people are watching. Juulia is a promising politician who could even become the leader of his party, Matías, a respected priest. The stakes are high, but after a while a future without Enni and Miska (Oona Airola and Pietu Wikström) seems unthinkable.

“They are wrestling with the question of how truthful and open they can be about this new lifestyle. I guess I wanted to put them in a difficult place,” she says.

“In addition, their works represent these institutions that we have created, the ones that try to enforce ‘the rules.’ I chose parliament and the church because I am always interested in seeing people working together, in how they can handle things when they have different expectations and needs.”

With one of the characters identifying as non-binary and a large number of non-white supporting actors, Vilhunen attempted to portray a more diverse Finnish society.

“It was a conscious choice. I am affected by the conversations that are taking place at the moment. It also felt connected to the theme of the film,” she says.

“This is my reality too, it reflects it more [accurately] than what I see in sitcoms or more normative stories. But I’ve been thinking about the fact that it’s all kind of in the background. After all, my main characters are all white.”

After its festival showings, the film is currently set for a December release date in Finland. But while the modern Christmas movie canon has recently welcomed the queer rom-com “The Happiest Season,” Vilhunen isn’t sure if “Four Little Grown-Ups” could pull off a similar feat.

“I don’t exactly see it as a Christmas movie, but it’s definitely quite Christmasy,” he laughs.

“I am very influenced by [Ingmar Bergman’s] ‘Fanny and Alexander’ and it has this phenomenal Christmas scene. The way the grandparents’ house looks in my film is also a nod to that.”

“In addition, it is a loaded vacation that comes with so many expectations. You are supposed to be loving, make sure everyone is happy. you can’t be sure [a situation like that] it can create proper drama, but it does. We all have our weaknesses.”

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