7.6/10
7,754
35 user 54 critic

Open Hearts (2002)

Elsker dig for evigt (original title)
A Dogme film about an engaged couple that is torn apart after the man is paralyzed in an accident, and the woman falls in love with the husband of the woman who caused the accident.

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12 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Niels
...
Cæcilie Pagh
...
Joachim
...
Marie
Stine Bjerregaard ...
Stine
Birthe Neumann ...
Hanne
Niels Olsen ...
Finn
Ulf Pilgaard ...
Thomsen
Ronnie Lorenzen ...
Gustav (as Ronnie Hiort Lorenzen)
Pelle Bang Sørensen ...
Emil
Anders Nyborg ...
Robert
Ida Dwinger ...
Sanne
Philip Zandén ...
Tommy
Michel Castenholt ...
Furniture Store Assistant
Birgitte Prins ...
A&E Doctor
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Storyline

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 Phythian

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 September 2002 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Open Hearts  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,224 (USA) (21 February 2003)

Gross:

$122,308 (USA) (28 March 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film actually breaks with some of the Dogme 95 rules, e.g. the blood used in the car accident scene is 'theatre' blood, there were fantasy sequences shot in Super-8 and also a ThermaCAM has been used. See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are stamped on the screen in thermal photography. See more »

Connections

Featured in Go' aften Danmark: Episode dated 5 September 2002 (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Lil Things
Written by Jesper Winge Leisner and Niels Brinck
Performed by Anggun
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Open Hearts
25 June 2013 | by (Cairo, Egypt) – See all my reviews

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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