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I went to see Mamma Mia! in Stockholm expecting clichés and thin characters—and found them. What I wasn't expecting was a dazzling piece of cinema

By Mark Cousins   September 2008

I saw the Abba musical Mamma Mia! recently. I was in Stockholm, the capital city of Abba-ness, and the film—which I was desperate to see—was playing in the Skandia; one of the world’s loveliest cinemas, designed by the great architect Gunnar Asplund.

As I sat down in Asplund’s barrel-like auditorium, I thought to myself: this film cannot work. A movie needs to create a coherent world. How can this one do so? Anglophone, melodious, Swedish pop tunes from the 1970s and 1980s were shoehorned into a west end mega-musical set in Greece—all done with an eye trained on the tourist…

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