Christoffer and Maja's trip to Prague to bring back Chistoffer's deceased father evolves into the story of a break-up. In the wake of the events that follow, secrets gradually emerge which threaten to destroy their marriage.
Jacob is a young man used to getting everything he wants. For several years, he has been living in a happy homosexual partnership with Jørgen, and one night Jacob decides to pop the big ... See full summary »
Svend and Bjarne work for a butcher in a small Danish town. Fed up with their boss' arrogance, they decide to start their own butcher shop. After dismal beginnings, an unfortunate accident ... See full summary »
Anders Thomas Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Four small-time gangsters from Copenhagen trick a gangster boss: they take over 4,000,000 kroner which they were supposed to bring him. Trying to escape to Barcelona they are forced to stop... See full summary »
Kresten has moved from his parents farm on a small Danish island to Copenhagen in order to pursue his working career. When his father dies he has to move back to the farm, where nothing ... See full summary »
Anders W. Berthelsen,
The good-hearted Harbour has spent his whole life trying to take care of his motherless and suicidal little brother, Wilbur. The brothers are inseparable. When in their thirties, they lose ... See full summary »
A Danish comedy about Mona, who suddenly has a lot to deal with after being taken hostage at a bank robbery, then chased by the love sick bank robber. The cocaine sniffing boss makes her days miserable until he ODs and she takes over.
Sidse Babett Knudsen,
Thomas Bo Larsen,
SPOILER: Cecilie is devastated when her fiancée Joachim is seriously injured in a car accident and is paralyzed from the neck down. Marie was the driver that caused the accident and she ask her husband Niels, a doctor at the hospital where Joachim is being treated, to help out Cecilie. However their relationship evolves in an affair which threatens Niels family. Written by
The ThermaCAM used in the opening and closing scenes, was originally intended for use throughout the movie. But in final editing Susanne Bier cut all the ThermaCAM-shots, because she felt they conflicted with the movies realistic tone. See more »
The credits are stamped on the screen in thermal photography. See more »
Dogme movement (1995-2005) is a terra incognita for me, although now it has officially existed only as a terminology thanks to the ubiquitous evasion of shooting on location with any cellphones or other hand-held lighter gizmos, and its spirit has been ingested by more advanced mutants (e.g. mumblecore). But Susanne Bier is not merely a Dogme enthusiast, AFTER THE WEDDING (2006 7/10) is a redoubtable relationship dissection and OPEN HEARTS (the new Hannibal Mads Mikkelsen star in both films) treads the same territory to examine the complexity of humans' conundrum between desire and responsibility, ethics and emotions.
Two couples, one is engaged, another has 3 children, a car accident (not entirely abides by the Dogme rules though) turns their worlds upside down, a threat is common-or-garden both in the cinematic and real world; the life-changing mishap prompts an adultery between a middle class doctor and the disheartened fiancée, whose fiancé undergoes a permanent quadriplegia from the car accident where the doctor's wife is the offender.
The face-fixated close-ups extensively put those characters under scrutiny for their rational and irrational behaviors, natural light commingles with saturated palette (during the beginning and the ending) and a black & white lens of the blurry and grainy illusory fancy. The cast is sterling, a quartet of tug-of-war from Mikkelsen, Richter, Lie Kass and Steen, a humdrum-weary family man holds his seven-year-itch infatuation to a damsel-in-distress; a comfort-seeker with abiding guilt of abandoning her bed-ridden fiancé; a young paralyzer who ruthlessly deserts his fiancée for his incompetence as a proper man but still hankers for her company; a wife is rueful of her road rage and its tragic repercussions, suddenly devastated by her husband's utter betrayal; Steen's impromptu slapping and Mikkelsen's reaction are among the best on-screen intensified scenes I have even seen, three of the four leads end up in my yearly top 10 list (guess who narrowly missed the spot?).
But on the other hand, the melodramatic core of the story hobbles a soul-searching catharsis and empathetic introspection which would put the film onto an upper notch, Bier and DP Morten Søborg's camera is erratic but not dizzily shaky, the fly-on-the-wall intimacy allows us to take a much closer look at the symptoms and the cause of the frailty resides in every soul on earth, and offers us staying in a paralleled world, munches with palliative pills to ease our own troubles.
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