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I first saw this three-part mini-series when I was *this* tall(not to be confused with "high"... I was shorter, not under the influence), 11 years ago... more than half a life-time, with my current age. No, I won't start talking about 'the old days' or start talking about how things were when I was young. My point is(yes, amongst all this rambling, there is a point... somewhere. Honest!), even then, at the tender age of 9, I was strongly affected by this. So much so that I still remembered much of it today, when I re-watched it. I recognized much of it. Not as much story as simply themes, ideas in it. Detailing the young life of Lise Nørgaard, the great contemporary Danish writer, this runs at nearly three hours... and there is not a boring second to be found. The pacing is near-perfect, with both drama-heavy scenes and slower ones to allow the viewer to take in the events. The plot is thoroughly well-written and revolves around the first thirty years of the famous author's life... during which, she is neglected, ignored and overlooked until she finally rebels, and fights back, against her parents, the male-dominated society and everyone who doubts her abilities and are bewildered by the magnitude of her ambitions, as well as the very fact that she harbors any at all... simply because of her gender. The acting is very good. There is fairly little dialog, so much of this is told through acting(requiring quite a bit of talent, and some of it is even limited to facial expressions, not body language) and cinematic effects. Events are hinted at, mentioned in passing by characters and shown... but rarely ever littered with dialog. The cinematography is marvelous... with relatively few cuts, long takes and nicely planned dolly trips. Great attention to detail and some extensive research makes this a rather remarkable period piece, as well(spanning over 30 years, no less). The film has very high production values. The editing has its moments, times where it is simply superb(one particular sequence is rather reminiscent of one in the Brian De Palma film The Untouchables)... but much of the time, the cinematography does the job, leaving little to cut from or to. The sound work is nice, though, with a few sounds exaggerated for effect and a great score(not to mention soundtrack). The orchestral score works perfectly to enhance the emotions on the screen, whether genuine or slightly overplayed, as an early scene intentionally is. The jazz-packed soundtrack works excellently to underscore later scenes, and it fits perfectly due to it being contemporary. In spite of this being a Danish production, there is little tacky humor, and this really comes across as far more serious, touching and strong than just about any other Danish production, with the possible(well, let's be honest; probable) exception of last years Mørke(Murk, in English). Featuring deep insight, solid social commentary and very good characterizations, this ranks as one of my very favorite Danish film experiences, and, in my humble opinion, one of the best of them. I recommend this to fans of drama, period pieces surrounding the time this is set in(between 1917 and 1947) and/or the actors and filmmakers involved in making it. 8/10
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