A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Jacob Pederson lives in shanty surroundings in Bombay, India, and assists in the running of Anand Orphanage and School. He had attempted a number of projects to assist orphans, including child prostitutes - all quite in vain. He has adopted a young male orphan, Pramod, and takes special care of him. With growing pressure on the facilities, which is on the verge bankruptcy, the orphanage receives an offer of funding from wealthy Danish citizen, Jorgen, which may put an end to its problems. In order to obtain the money, Jacob must travel to Copenhagen, meet with Jorgen, get financial assistance, and be back to celebrate Pramod's 8th birthday. He sets forth, is received by Christian Refner, an employee and future son-in-law of Jorgen. Jacob is shown all possible courtesy and even housed in a posh apartment. He subsequently meets with Jorgen, shows him video-tapes and submits that a few Kroner could really save several lives which would otherwise succumb to minor illnesses and infections.... Written by
First Danish film to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 16 years. See more »
When the couple gets married, the rings are placed on the fingers, but no visible in scenes post marriage. The customs in Denmark may be different, but throughout the film, wedding bands, rings, etc. migrate from hand to hand (wedding band on the right hand for women, left for men), and also disappear. See more »
As may be expected of Susanne Bier, and as may be expected of Scandinavian films in general if you ask me, this film is really great. The acting is so good it's hard to call it acting. Mads Mikkelsen (Jacob) puts up a terrific performance with acting that is as credible as it is subtle. Not the over-the-top stuff that we are familiar with from Hollywood, but acting that actually makes you think "yes, this is how real flesh and blood people would react". I was also pleasantly surprised by Sidse Babett Knudsen (Helene). She has a lot of scenes with little or no dialog, but the way she tells everything with subtle face expression is simply mind blowing. And let's not forget Rolf Lassgård (Jörgen) and Stine Fisher Christensen (Anne), who both remind us what real flesh and blood emotions look like in a way that really hits you in the face.
Anyway, I'm a fan of Scandinavian films for reasons mentioned above, and I'm almost ashamed to say that in that light this film was really nothing new, and luckily so: just more of the same wonderful stuff! What really stuck with me about this film however is the story. It is so ...human in all aspects. I won't reveal any spoilers, but as the story unfolds, it just gets so much more complex than you expect at first. In the first 15 minutes, I expected the movie was mainly going to be about the struggle between Jörgen and Jacob. The struggle between these two "stereotypes" really... one being the cool business man who solves everything with money, and the other being the idealistic but clumsy social worker. I was pleasantly surprised however that it got even better after that. What I mainly like about the movie, is that it doesn't offer any simple solutions. In the end, there are no perfect happy endings that solve every puzzle; the main characters have to make decisions, but it's not all black and white like we see in a lot of other movies. People have to do things they might not have done initially, but in the end, there may be upsides as well. You know... that sounds an awful lot like real life, and that's a good thing for a film if you ask me.
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