Kaj is an alcoholic living on the money the Danish state is providing him. Him and his friends spend their time drinking beer at a public bench. One day Kaj's life turns upside down when a young lady and her child moves in next to him.
Marius Sonne Janischefska,
Stine Holm Joensen
Denmark, 1961. Bjørn, a middle-class boy in his early teens, wants to be accepted by Steen, a bullying peer of his with wealthy but freezingly cold parents. Bjørn's other good friend is ... 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,
Three weeks before general elections, the leader of one of the country's largest parties, the Center Party, is involved in a severe car accident. The political scene is thrown into disarray... See full summary »
Anders W. Berthelsen,
At their 25th high-school anniversary some bourgeois citizens remember their time in school as a happy one. In reality it was quite the contrary. The school was a madhouse in which the ... See full summary »
Tomas Villum Jensen,
Danish teens come of age in 1963. Bjorn and Erik are close friends. Bjorn is pursued by Kirsten, a future Stepford wife, but he falls for Anna, who initiates him into love and sex. Erik is ... See full summary »
A young Danish man, Christoffer, lives a life of joy and happiness with his wife Maria in Stockholm. When his father dies his mother insists that Christoffer take over management of the family industry which is in danger of bankruptcy. He is torn between his chosen life and his sense of duty to his family and its past. When he chooses to step in as manager his family life and self-respect languish. Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
Shakespearean Tragedy Updated to the Family Business
"The Inheritance (Arven)" is the best look since "The Godfather" at the corrosive impact of family business where there's no boundaries between family and business.
The starting premise is strikingly similar to another Scandinavian drama, the Icelandic "The Storm (Hafið)," as in both we start off with a prodigal son happily and romantically involved abroad but forced back to deal with the patriarch's dramatic decision that has ever widening ramifications.
But whereas the first went off in psycho-sexual directions from a fishery, this Danish film stays realistically in the board room of a steel plant as much as the bed room.
Here, his wife is a Shakespearean actress and the Shakespearean references I caught are played up beyond "King Lear,"as the matriarch, a scarily formidable Ghita Nørby, whose role could be taken by Judi Dench or Glenn Close in an American remake, is a Lady MacBeth, and he's baited by a CFO with a pronounced Iago modus operandi, while the wife, the very moving Lisa Werlinder, is left to plead like Portia in "Julius Caeser."
Un-Hamlet-like, Ulrich Thomsen's manipulatable Christoffer plunges into decisions that succeed at high psychological prices for him and those around him, reminding me of the classic closing line of the adaptation of Henry James, "The Heiress": "I've learned from masters."
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