Film review: On My Mind (Benzona Film/M&M)

An Oscar-nominated short, On My Mind is written and directed by Martin Strange-Hansen and follows the story of a man who desperately wants to sing a song for his wife no matter what.

If you believe in the power of love and the endurance of the soul, this might warm your heart. It is a simple premise, but beautifully depicted with an economical use of words.

In its limited settings – primarily an empty bar on a Tuesday morning – On My Mind puts the performances front and centre, notably that of Rasmus Hammerich as the man who wants to make his gift count so badly he will pay over the odds for it.

Shot from On My Mind

Camilla Bendix does well as the sympathetic landlady, knowing full well that her husband (Ole Boison) would not have the thought to do the same. Her resignation at her lot and her kindness to this stranger in letting him sing is touching.

At the start, you know something is to happen today, but it is unclear what. Just as the man we first see seems unready for it, so are we: and more than a little unsettled.

The song chosen for a private piece of karaoke, Always on My Mind, may be an admission of guilt, a request to come back, a reflection of a relationship not always perfect.

This film may feel as if it is heading to a downbeat conclusion, but if music really does “make the soul soar”, then it makes the ending both bittersweet and warm.

This is a clever and uplifting short, produced by Kim Magnusson (now nominated for an Oscar four decades in a row). Inspired by Strange-Hansen’s personal experiences, this is a gem.

Watch the reaction video to the Oscar nomination here.