Off Track review – a lighthearted Swedish offering about skiing siblings

By Lori Meek
Published: November 17, 2022


It’s an entertaining piece, at times inspiring, but not one you’ll spend any time thinking about once the credits start rolling.

We review the Netflix film Off Track, which does not contain any significant spoilers.

Off Track (original title Ur Spår) is a Swedish comedy written by Maria Karlsson and directed by Mårten Klingberg. Originally released in Sweden at the start of the year, this flick just dropped on Netflix in time for the Holiday season. The movie stars Fredrik Hallgren and Katia Winter as Daniel and Lisa, a pair of siblings training for the Vasaloppet, a world-renowned cross-country ski race. 

While not quite a Christmas film, the narrative is centered around the winter season. In the first half, we’re introduced to our main characters. Lisa is a recent divorcee with a drinking problem. After a series of unfortunate events involving a drunken night spent in the drunk tank, an investigation by social services, and her apartment flooding, she’s forced to move in with her brother. Daniel is an avid skier who spends most of his spare time training for the 90-kilometer (about 55 miles) race, the Vasaloppet. In an attempt to impress her daughter, Lisa commits to taking part in the same race and starts training with her perfectionist brother. 

The film spends a long time introducing these characters. Lisa has been on a downward spiral since her marriage fell apart. Her ex-husband and his new girlfriend’s seemingly perfect life serve as a constant reminder of her inadequacies as a mother. Daniel, on the other hand, seems to have everything his younger sister lacks: Financial stability, a happy marriage, and an exceedingly healthy lifestyle. Yet, something is missing, and he’s a bit too keen to keep those he loves at arm’s length.

While the premise of a down-on-their-luck character committing to some extraordinary sporting event isn’t new, this offering is a welcome addition to the genre. The comedic aspects (and there were a couple of laugh-out-loud moments!) don’t take away from portraying the characters as well-rounded individuals. Katia Winter does a great job as a woman who’s on the brink of losing everything she cares about before pulling it together. Fredrik Hallgren as her brother has a compelling plotline, and his role goes beyond being a sidekick to the main character. Probably the best performance in the whole film, however, comes from Leif Andrée. He plays a taxi driver, and his scenes, while few and far between, had me in stitches. 

Despite being a comedy, Off Track touches on some hard topics such as infertility, alcoholism, and parenthood. Some issues are approached with sensitivity, while others are glossed over. It all feels a bit inconsequential. At times, the narrative did seem to drag and there were too many characters the film could have done without. For example, the whole plot point with the police officer turned love interest could have been removed without affecting the main plotline in the slightest. 

Overall, I found Off Track a lighthearted and charming comedy about a group of people and their reasons for attending a difficult race. It’s an entertaining piece, at times inspiring, but not one you’ll spend any time thinking about once the credits start rolling. 

What did you think of the Netflix film Off Track? Comment below.

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