Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

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Eurovision Song Contest:
The Story of Fire Saga
Eurovision Song Contest- The Story of Fire Saga poster.jpg
Promotional film poster
Directed byDavid Dobkin
Produced by
Written by
  • Will Ferrell
  • Andrew Steele
Starring
Music byAtli Örvarsson
CinematographyDanny Cohen
Edited byGreg Hayden
Production
company
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • June 26, 2020 (2020-06-26)
Running time
123 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a 2020 American musical comedy film directed by David Dobkin and written by Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele. The film follows Icelandic singers Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir (Ferrell and Rachel McAdams) as they are given the chance to represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, and Demi Lovato also star.

The Story of Fire Saga was initially scheduled for a May 2020 release to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. However, after the 2020 Eurovision contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released a month later, on June 26, on Netflix.[2][3]

Plot[edit]

In the small town of Húsavík, Iceland, Lars Erickssong and his best friend Sigrit make music together as the band Fire Saga, much to the dismay of Lars's widowed father, Erick. Lars has one dream: to win the Eurovision Song Contest. They apply and are selected to take part in Söngvakeppnin, the Icelandic pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Sigrit, who believes in the old Icelandic tradition of elves, asks them to help them in the contest and that, if they win, Lars might finally return her feelings.

Their performance is a disaster, and the incredibly talented Katiana Lindsdóttir wins the pre-selection. Dejected, Lars and Sigrit look out at the boat party taking place with all the other contestants. The boat suddenly explodes, killing everyone on board. Fire Saga, as the only surviving contestants, automatically become Iceland's entry to the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest.

Lars and Sigrit arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland, and struggle with a new remix of their song and the elaborate stage design. They meet Alexander Lemtov, a Russian singer who is the favorite to win the contest. He invites them to a party at his house, attended by a number of real former Eurovision contestants, where he introduces Lars and Sigrit to the Greek singer Mita. Alexander and Sigrit spend the night together, as do Lars and Mita. This causes tension within Fire Saga, which almost derails their plans for the semifinal. Lars overhears Sigrit working on a new song for him in their hotel room, but he wrongly assumes it is a love song for Alexander. Katiana's ghost appears to Lars and warns him that his life is in danger; he ignores her.

Fire Saga reconcile before the semifinals. The performance of their song "Double Trouble" initially goes very well, but is derailed by an accident involving a giant hamster wheel. They recover and finish the song, but are met with deafening silence and scattered laughter. Lars storms out, leaving Sigrit behind. To her shock, Iceland is voted through to the finals.

Returning to Húsavík, Lars is unaware of Fire Saga's advancement in the contest. He talks with his father and confesses his love for Sigrit, and Erick tells him to return and fight for her love. On his way back to Reykjavík, Victor Karlosson (governor of the Central Bank of Iceland, and one of the Icelandic organisational team members) attempts to murder Lars and reveals he blew up the boat at Söngvakeppnin, as Iceland is bankrupt and cannot afford to host Eurovision the following year if Fire Saga wins. Luckily, unseen elves save Lars by killing Victor.

Lars makes it to the grand finale just in time to perform, after hitchhiking with some initially unwilling American tourists. Before going onstage, Katiana's ghost reappears and tells him Victor blew up the boat. Lars informs her that he already knows, that Victor is dead, and she's not very helpful. Instead of their official entry, Sigrit and Lars perform the song she wrote for him, "Húsavík". Their friends and families are all touched, discovering that the song is an ode to their hometown, with some lyrics in Icelandic and a stunning finale. Erick watches the contest proudly with Sigrit's mother, Helka. Alexander – who is gay and unable to live openly in Russia – discusses with Mita the possibility of moving to Greece. Because Fire Saga changed their song during the contest, they are disqualified. Lars and Sigrit finally kiss.

Lars and Sigrit return home, where they are greeted with a hero's welcome. Some time later, Fire Saga perform with their young baby at the wedding of Erick and Helka. The band offers to play the Eurovision song, but everyone just wants to hear the local favorite folk song, "Jaja Ding Dong".

Cast[edit]

Special appearance[edit]

Several former contestants of the Eurovision Song Contest made cameos in the film:

Other notable special appearances include:

Production[edit]

Will Ferrell was introduced to Eurovision in 1999 by his Swedish wife, actress Viveca Paulin.[6] Sweden happened to win that year with the song "Take Me to Your Heaven", which Ferrell mentions as a reason he became smitten with the competition.[6]

In May 2018, in preparation for the film, Ferrell attended the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, to research possible characters and scenarios for the film.[7][8] He also spoke backstage with Eurovision contestants.[7] On June 18, 2018, it was announced that Ferrell would star, co-write and produce a film inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest. The film would be distributed by Netflix.[3]

In March 2019, David Dobkin signed on to direct the film.[9] In May 2019, Rachel McAdams joined the cast. McAdams and Ferrell were spotted at the dress rehearsals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel, the stage of which was rebuilt on a soundstage in London for the in-contest scenes, while plate shots were done with the real-life live audience in Tel Aviv. [10][11][12]In August 2019, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens and Demi Lovato, among others, joined the cast, with filming commencing in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, and in Iceland. With Ferrell pictured filming scenes at both the SSE Hydro, in Glasgow itself, and Glasgow Airport, in Abbotsinch, in October 2019.[13][14][15]

The actors put on an Icelandic accent for the film.[16] They trained with dialect coaches and McAdams studied videos of Icelandic singer Björk.[16][17]

Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo (known for So You Think You Can Dance) oversaw the choreography.[6]

Production costs in Iceland were $3.6 million, out of which the Icelandic government paid close to a million dollars as a part of the country's movie production incentives.[18]

Knebworth House was used for the exterior shots of Alexander Lemtov's British house in the film.[19][20]

Music[edit]

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
(Music from the Netflix Film)
Soundtrack album
ReleasedJune 26, 2020 (2020-06-26)
Label
Singles from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
(Music from the Netflix Film)
  1. "Volcano Man"
    Released: May 15, 2020

The soundtrack for the album was released on June 26, 2020.[21] "Volcano Man" was the first song released from the album and features vocals from Will Ferrell, Swedish singer Molly Sandén (credited as My Marianne) and Rachel McAdams. According to Netflix, Sandén's vocals were mixed with McAdams's own voice for the tracks.[6] In a separate phone call with Vanity Fair, Eurovision's music producer, Savan Kotecha, said that Sandén and McAdams's "tones worked so well together" that, in playing back certain tracks, he had a hard time differentiating between the vocals.[22]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Double Trouble (Tiësto's Euro 90s Tribute Remix)" (performed by Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Molly Sandén and Tiësto)
  • Birgisson
  • Rami
2:28
2."Lion Of Love" (performed by Erik Mjönes)
Kotecha2:47
3."Coolin' with Da Homies" (performed by Savan Kotecha)
  • Kotecha
  • Yacoub
Rami1:26
4."Volcano Man" (performed by Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Molly Sandén)
  • Gustaf Holter
  • Christian Persson
  • Holter
  • Persson
1:21
5."Jaja Ding Dong" (performed by Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Molly Sandén)
  • Holter
  • Persson
  • Holter
  • Persson
1:37
6."In the Mirror" (performed by Demi Lovato)Jörgen Elofsson
  • Elofsson
  • Anton ”Hybrid” Mårtensson
2:48 [23]
7."Happy" (performed by Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Molly Sandén)Pharrell Williams
  • Kotecha
  • Nevin Sastry
1:26
8."Song-A-Long: "Believe", "Ray of Light", "Waterloo", "Ne partez pas sans moi", and "I Gotta Feeling"" (performed by Cast)Alana da Fonseca3:18
9."Running with the Wolves" (performed by Courtney Jenaé and Adam Grahn)
  • A. Carlsson
  • Öberg
  • Lauridsen
1:10
10."Fool Moon" (performed by Anteros)
Charlie Andrew3:26
11."Hit My Itch" (performed by Antonio Sol, David Loucks, Taylor Lindersmith, and Nicole Leonti)
  • Chris Wagner
  • Danny Pinnella
  • Ric Markmann
  • Gosling
  • Hayden
  • Monaghan
  • Rumble
2:04
12."Come and Play (Masquerade)" (performed by Petra Nielsen)Thomas G:sonG:son3:08
13."Amar pelos dois" (performed by Salvador Sobral)Luísa SobralL. Sobral3:05
14."Husavik" (performed by Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Molly Sandén)
Fat Max Gsus3:22
15."Double Trouble (Film Version)" (performed by Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Molly Sandén)
  • Birgisson
  • Yacoub
  • Kotecha
  • Birgisson
  • Rami
2:54
16."Eurovision Suite" (performed by Atli Örvarsson)ÖrvarssonÖrvarsson6:19

Charts[edit]

Chart (2020) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[24] 78
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[25] 28

Release[edit]

The film was digitally released on Netflix on June 26, 2020.[26] In its first weekend, it was the top-streamed item on the service, reaching the number one ranking position in multiple regions.[27][28]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 64% based on 128 reviews, with a weighted average of 5.78/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga contains inspired ingredients and laugh-out-loud moments, but they're outnumbered by the flat stretches in this overlong comedy."[29] At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30] Audience response to the film has been more positive, with Metacritic assigning it a user score of 7.8/10.[31][32] According to Icelandic bloggers Kristin Kristjansdottir and Steinunn Björk Bragadóttir, the film was well-received by both Eurovision fans and native Icelanders. The director of the local council of Húsavík also welcomed the film.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga". Netflix. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  2. ^ Mahjouri, Shakiel (April 17, 2020). "Rachel McAdams Donates $10,000 To London Health Sciences Centre Stream-A-Thon". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (June 18, 2018). "Will Ferrell To Star In Netflix Music Pic 'Eurovision' As Another A-List Comedy Star Tries A Streaming Vehicle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Clark, Meredith. "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga: A Guide to All Its Cameos and Homages". Vulture. Vox Media Network. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  5. ^ Kelly, Emma (June 26, 2020). "All the cameos to watch out for in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga". Metro. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Ebiri, Bilge (June 26, 2020). "The (Fake) Songs of Summer". Vulture. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Will Ferrell to star in Eurovision film". BBC News Online. June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Stephens, Heidi (June 21, 2018). "Eurovision has come too far to be made a mockery of by Will Ferrell | Heidi Stephens". The Guardian. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Welk, Brian (March 7, 2019). "'Wedding Crashers' Director to Helm Will Ferrell Comedy 'Eurovision' at Netflix". TheWrap. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams filming Eurovision movie in Tel Aviv". The Jerusalem Post. May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (May 7, 2019). "Rachel McAdams Reuniting With 'Wedding Crashers' Will Ferrell, David Dobkin In Netflix 'Eurovision'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga - Cast talks about Eurovision". YouTube. June 24, 2020.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 7, 2019). "Pierce Brosnan Joining Will Ferrell & Rachel McAdams In Netflix Pic 'Eurovision'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  14. ^ "Pierce Brosnan to star in Eurovision film". RTÉ.ie. August 5, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  15. ^ Bennett, Anita (August 21, 2019). "Demi Lovato Joins Cast of Will Ferrell's Netflix Comedy 'Eurovision'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams Reveal Inspiration for 'Eurovision Song Contest' Accents". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  17. ^ "Rachel McAdams watched loads of Björk videos to improve Icelandic accent for Eurovision film". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  18. ^ Freyr Gígja Gunnarsson (March 31, 2020). "Eurovision-mynd Ferrell fékk 135 milljónir frá ríkinu". RÚV (in Icelandic). Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "All the filming locations for Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga on Netflix". inews.co.uk. June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Filming Locations". findthatlocation.com. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  21. ^ Kaufman, Gil (May 15, 2020). "Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Demi Lovato & More Starring in Netflix's 'Eurovision Song Contest': Hear First Song". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  22. ^ Eurovision: How a Real-Life Contestant Found Unlikely Redemption in Netflix's New Movie Vanity Fair, by Julie Miller, June 26, 2020
  23. ^ http://www.jorgenelofsson.com/news/
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Soundtrack – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Soundtrack – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  26. ^ Kiefer, Halle (May 16, 2020). "Will Ferrell's Eurovision 'Volcano Man' Joins the Pantheon of Joke Pop Songs That Are Actually Great". Vulture. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  27. ^ Roweles, Dustin (June 28, 2020). "Weekend Box Office: Jon Stewart, Will Ferrell, And The Most-Watched Movies At Home Over The Weekend". Uproxx. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  28. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga". FlixPatrol. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  29. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  30. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  31. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  32. ^ "Eight things Will Ferrell's Eurovision movie gets wrong (and two it gets right)". BBC News. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  33. ^ "Eurovision movie: Are people in Iceland offended by the Will Ferrell Netflix film?". Retrieved July 3, 2020.

External links[edit]