26 June 2020 10:39

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  • Rachel McAdams plays Sigrit Ericksdottir Lemtov is the lion-loving Russian act in the film’s Eurovision contest.

Rachel McAdams plays Sigrit Ericksdottir Lemtov is the lion-loving Russian act in the film’s Eurovision contest.

All the stars and cameos in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Graham Norton may be the only such name listed in the credits, but Eurovision superfans will find more than one thrilling cameo in this well-meaning Will Ferrell comedy, inspired by the planet's most beloved song contest. Marrying the naivety of Elf's Buddy and the obliviousness of Talladega Nights' Ricky Bobby, Lars (Ferrell) is an aspiring musician who has longed to represent his native Iceland at Eurovision since seeing Abba perform Waterloo. When they are improbably given the opportunity to represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest, nobody thinks they can win, least of all Lars's disapproving dad – "my extremely handsome father", as his crooning son has it – played by Pierce Brosnan. Dan Stevens's preening Russian contestant is a delight, Pierce Brosnan hasn't arched his eyebrows this much since he quit James Bond, Demi Lovato turns out to have an unnerving capacity to undermine her own glamorous image, and famous Icelandic actors pop up to make merry with their native accents. Seemingly operating on the belief that volume plus glitter equals comedy, the movie (streaming on Netflix) introduces Lars (Will Ferrell), a motherless man-child, and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams), a shy music teacher who speaks to elves.

As the duo Fire Saga, they perform in the rowdy bars of their tiny Icelandic fishing village — a place where everyone speaks English in an accent reminiscent of the Swedish chef on "The Muppets." To gain respect from his disapproving father (Pierce Brosnan), Lars dreams of representing Iceland at Eurovision. First look at Netflix film 'Eurovision Song Contest' with Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga belongs squarely in the miss column. Ferrell plays Lars, an Icelandic man with dreams of winning Eurovision ever since he was a kid and saw ABBA lighting up the stage in the 1974 contest. You know Eurovision Song Contest gripes when you immediately notice that the time-jump from 1974 to present day doesn't line up, unless we're meant to believe that McAdams can pass for 50 years old (she really, really can't) or that Pierce Brosnan is realistic as Ferrell's father (only 15 years separate them).

It takes about 30 minutes before the first properly funny scenario is presented: Dan Stevens in a gold lame shirt and gold brocade coat gyrating on stage as Russian singer Alexander Lemtov, singing a ridiculous operatic pop ballad called Lion of Love. Stevens as Lemtov is the standout in Eurovision, a movie that manages to be both slickly over-produced and scrappily messy at the same time. You could argue that would be an apt description of Eurovision itself but for all of its mooted wackiness, Eurovision Song Contest doesn't capture how ridiculously broad the real Eurovision is, even if it brings in some alumni for cameos – Conchita Wurst, Netta and Salvador Sobral among them. But she may be slightly miscast in this role, or it, like everything else in Eurovision Song Contest, is severely underwritten. Eurovision Song Contest could've been a wild, raucous time, but instead it's a limp movie you can scroll past without giving it a second thought.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is on Netflix from Friday, June 26 at 5pm AEST Savan Kotecha regularly works with some of the biggest acts in the world including Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Ellie Goulding. The hopeful-but-hopeless singers, played by Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams, are the focus of Netflix's new comedy Eurovision, which celebrates the world's largest live music event. The film plays out like the real life contest, with every country having their own ready-made song. Kotecha's role involved composing and building teams of experts to write them, which included bringing in songwriters who'd worked on real-life Eurovision entries. What you get are comedy entries like Iceland's Double Trouble and Russia's Lion Of Love - but with the production values of real-life hits and the staging of Eurovision greats.

Image copyright John Wilson/NETFLIX Image caption Dan Stevens performing as Russia's fictional entry, Alexander Lemtov with the song Lion Of Love Even though the artists he worked with for the film are fictional, Kotecha approached the production and songwriting process in the same way he'd work with singers like Ellie Goulding or Ariana Grande. Kotecha, who's American, says he "reluctantly fell in love with Eurovision" because - like Will Ferrell - he has a Swedish wife. Sweden is one of the contest's most successful countries and Loreen's 2012 winner Euphoria is his "ultimate Eurovision entry". Among the movie's fictional artists (like Dan Stevens' Russian lothario Alexander Lemtov) are some real life bands, including London-based Anteros. In the movie, they represent Finland (as made up band The Wonderful) but get to perform one of their own songs, Full Moon.

In the film, Rachel McAdams performs alongside Will Ferrell, but her main singing voice is actually that of Swedish star Molly Sanden. It became a reality when Sanden represented her country in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, placing third. She then entered Sweden's Eurovision selection contest, Melodifestivalen, three times but never won. And even though he was a "reluctant fan" in the first place, Savan Kotecha says he's up for getting involved in the real thing if a country approached him to help write a potential winner. However, there's a silver lining to this huge cloud: fans can still catch many of their favourite Song Contest stars in new Netflix comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Telling the story of small-town Icelandic musicians Lars Eriksong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Eriksdottir (Rachel McAdams), The Story of Fire Saga sees the duo cross paths with many real Eurovision stars – including plenty winners – for a gigantic singalong. So, what cameos, characters and actors can you expect to find in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga? Lars is one of the film's two main characters, an Icelandic musician who has dreamed of Eurovision glory ever since watching ABBA win the contest in 1974. Ferrell himself is an avid Eurovision fan and has attended the contest on several occasions. Rachel McAdams plays Sigrit Ericksdottir Lemtov is the lion-loving Russian act in the film's Eurovision contest. She's the Icelandic singer tipped to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest. He plays himself in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, delivering his brilliantly tongue-in-cheek put-downs. Who are the real-life Eurovision stars in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga? As mentioned above, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga features many actual Eurovision stars, many appearing in a super Eurovision Medley (about halfway through the movie). Loreen won the contest for Sweden in 2012 with Europhia, indisputably one of the best Eurovision entries of all time. The violin-playing singer-songwriter is best known for winning the 2009 contest for Norway. The YouTube star performed for France in the 2019 contest, his entry Roi finishing in a respectable 16th place. Lundvik competed for Sweden in the 2019 contest, finishing in fifth place with song Too Late for Love.