Fresh off Ethan Hawke getting robbed by this year’s Oscars after delivering one of his best performances in First Reformed, he’s robbing a bank in the Stockholm trailer. Or at least, he’s attempting to do so, and rather poorly at that, for much of this preview. Still, the fact that Hawke’s Lars Nystrom does a terrible job at making any sort of clean getaway is what leads him to take hostages. That brings us to the movie’s point — to loosely tell the true story of the 1973 Swedish bank robbery that coined the term “Stockholm syndrome.”
Hawke’s charisma here eclipses his terrible, bank-robbing wig, and as the days of this failed heist pass, his four hostages, including Noomi Rapace’s Bianca, begin to sympathize with their captor after he demonstrates a caring nature. Here’s the darkly comedic film’s synopsis:
STOCKHOLM is based on the absurd but true story of a 1973 bank heist and hostage crisis documented in the 1974 New Yorker article “The Bank Drama” by Daniel Lang. The film follows Lars Nystrom, (Ethan Hawke) who dons a disguise to raid a central Stockholm bank. He then takes hostages in order to spring his pal Gunnar (Mark Strong) from prison. One of the hostages includes Bianca (Noomi Rapace), a wife and mother of two. Negotiations with detectives hits a wall when (at the request of the Prime Minister) the police refuse to let Lars leave in a getaway car with the hostages. As hours turn into days, Lars alternates between threatening the hostages and making them feel comfortable and secure.
Stockholm opens in NYC and LA on April 12, followed by a wider release.