Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire – Why the Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams film nailed the competition

Will Ferrell, the film’s star and co-writer, is a self-professed Eurovision superfan

Ellie Muir
Thursday 09 May 2024 11:14
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga - trailer

Eurovision is underway this week, which means it’s about time we revisited the epic film, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga – a parody of the competition’s most eccentric acts and committed fandom.

With a star-studded cast including co-writer Will Ferrell who stars opposite Rachel McAdams, the movie follows Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, an Icelandic pop duo determined to win over their small town and represent Iceland at the Eurovision finals.

Yearning for Eurovision success, the pair discover that the odds are stacked against them. No one in the small town of Husavik has any faith in the musical duo, and Lars’s “extremely handsome father” (Pierce Brosnan) also disapproves of his son’s ambitions.

But resilience is key to this story, along with a clear and genuine passion for the Eurovision Song Contest that taps into the spirit that makes it such a wonderful event.

Under the direction of Wedding Crashers’ David Dobkin, the film sets Lars and Sigrit off on a musical odyssey that includes cameos from a number of real-life Eurovision legends. Topped off with a cameo from Graham Norton, who plays himself as a Eurovision commentator, the humour and heart of the film make it the perfect watch this Eurovision season.

The Story of Fire Saga was born out of Ferrell’s obsession with the competition – he claimed to have been silent for three hours after watching the contest for the first time. “I was just like, ‘what is this thing’, it’s incredible,” he told Screen Rant. “The staging, the kind of costumes, the catchiness of the songs, some of the songs are actually really good.”

He continued: “It was from the sublime to the ridiculous and I just remember in that moment thinking ‘that would be a great movie’ but I thought that someone in Europe would have done it.”

Will Ferrell stars opposite Rachel McAdams in ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ (Elizabeth Viggiano/NETFLIX)

The film takes its cues from real-life moments that have unfolded across Eurovision’s storied history. For example, one of the most memorable scenes sees Lars and Sigrit falling off the stage after Sigrit’s scarf is caught in a giant hamster wheel on which Lars is running is a reference to Ukraine’s 2014 entry. Find out all of the real-life comparisons to the film, here.

The Eurovision semi-finals are on 7 and 9 May, while the grand final is on Saturday 11 May. Find out the favourites for 2024, here.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is available on Netflix.

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