Troell layers on the details of Elsa's chaotic inner life, spurred by her ambivalent relationship with her father, Svend (Bjorn Granath), whom she can't forgive for beginning a love affair with the head housekeeper, Stine (Stine Ekblad), after Elsa's mother died during childbirth. Because of that scarring experience, which happened when she was a little girl, Elsa's perceptions of sex and death are intertwined, leading to uncertainty about love when she grows older.
Everything in "As White as in Snow" is utterly convincing, from the psychological undercurrents driving Elsa's actions and reactions--she feels most alive while flying--to the complex portrait of her as a genuinely pure but confused soul. Amanda Ooms is superb as Elsa; no matter what her emotion, she always holds the screen. In Troell's hands, the tragedy of her shortened life ends up being more than just an early death. It becomes a stirring metaphor for the vicissitudes of celebrity and the women who had to work harder to succeed in a man's world. With this finely etched, ravishing movie, Troell has done great justice to Andersson's accomplishments. Starring Amanda Ooms, Bjorn Granath and Rikard Wolff. Directed by Jan Troell. Written by Jan Troell, Jaques Werup, Karl-Erik Olsson-Snogerod and Jimmy Karlsson. Produced by Lars Hermann. No distributor set. Drama. German-, Swedish- and Danish-language, subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time:156 min.