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Sverre Anker Ousdal
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Michael has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is missing in action - presumed dead - and Sarah is comforted by Jannik, who against all odds shows himself capable of taking responsibility for both himself and the family. It soon becomes clear that their feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy. When Michael comes home, traumatized by being held prisoner in the mountains of Afghanistan, nothing is the same... Written by
Along with King's Game (2004), this was the most successful and best reviewed Danish film of the year in its native country. However, neither of these two films was submitted by Denmark to the Oscars in the Foreign Language Film category. The Danish jury decided to send a documentary film, The Five Obstructions (2003), which had only been attended by 12,532 people in Danish theaters. This story made headlines, and Danish film producers officially stated that they would force the jury to pick Brothers (2004) or "Kongekabale" instead. The jury, however, did not change their minds, and "De fem benspænd" was sent to the Oscars. It was not among the eventual nominees. "Brødre" later won several awards across the world, including at the Sundance Film Festival, and opened to stellar reviews in the US. The jury later admitted that they possibly chose the wrong film to send to the Oscars that year. See more »
When Michael is saying goodbye to the girls, the time on the clock jumps backwards between shots. See more »
I will always love you. That is the only truth that remains. Life is neither right nor wrong, good or bad. But I love you. That's all I know.
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The family man Major Michael Lundberg (Ulrich Thomsen) is happily married with his beloved Sarah (Connie Nielsen) and adores his two daughters Natalia (Sarah Juel Werner) and Camilla (Rebecca Løgstrup Soltau). His younger brother Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) has just left prison on probation for bank robbery and has issues with his father Henning (Bent Mejding). Michael invites Jannik to have dinner at home with their family. When Michael arrives in Afghanistan, his helicopter crashes and he is considered missing in action. However, he is captured and sent to a camp where he meets the radar technician Niels Peter (Paw Henriksen). After a long period imprisoned, Micahel is forced to kill Niels with a bar to survive. Meanwhile Jannick comforts Sarah and the children and he becomes close to Michael's family. When Michael is rescued, he comes back home emotionally detached and paranoid. Further, he is convinced that Sarah and Jannik have slept together during his absence. When the envious Natalia lies during the birthday dinner party of her sister telling that her mother and Jannik had shagged to upset her father, the disturbed Michael triggers an intense paranoia jeopardizing his family.
"Brødre" is a powerful and realistic drama about lives destroyed by war. This film is extremely well-acted, with an adequate cast that gives credibility to the plot led by the gorgeous and excellent Connie Nielsen. The sensitive director Susanne Bier of "Efter Brylluppet" makes another extraordinary movie based on the family dynamics. Jim Sheridan remade this film in 2009, but in a shallow teen "americanization" version. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Brothers"
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