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Reviews & Ratings for
Applause More at IMDbPro »Applaus (original title)

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

a Sobering Slice of Life

10/10
Author: offdwallnotdrack from United States
4 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved this film. Is the plot unique? No. Is the cinematography revolutionary? No. Is the portrayal of this mid-aged recovering alcoholic actress executed well? YES.

The previous reviewer mentioned something along the lines of how the hand-held shaky cam was just a copy cat gimmick of older indie films and how this is just another drab danish film to do the exact same crap yet again. Tell you the truth, that sounds like the rantings of an A-list film snob.

Granted that the hand-held method, 3D, CGI, and dozens of other cinematography related methods are very frequently used purely just as gimmicks and very often don't add anything to the actual film, it still is a legitimate tool for cinematographers to use, and can be used to support the nature of the film. I think we're bombarded with these gimmicks so often, and so often get nothing out of it, that many people just start associated that visual tool with being distracting and pointless, even if used properly.

Also, I think there was a mention about Michael Falch, and how this Comedian turned serious actor wasn't any good because he was trying too hard and overacting, and to be fair, I think that observation was due to a preconceived notion about the actor because the reviewer was familiar with him. I never heard of Michael Falch and have no idea who he is (before the film at least) and thought nothing of the acting in a negative way. I would've never guessed that he was a comedian. He was very good in the film and very convincing and obviously a natural born actor.

Anyways, back to the film. Like the title says, this is a slice of life sorta movie. It is not a mapped out plot that goes from point A to point B, but rather the Director just lets us into this woman's life and gives us permission to observe her most intimate and personal moments. Thanks to the amazing (Merryl Streep Level) acting of Paprika Steen, this observation is fascinating, and it's so convincing, that you often feel very uncomfortable and filled with anxiety because like in real life, when we are faced with adversity, we often struggle to find a path to walk on, and we often do things that surprise even ourselves, and find ourselves in situations that we never planned on being in, and suddenly realize we have no idea how to escape. You just can't help but relate to the situations in this real-life reconstruction. This is only supported by the hand-held cinematography.

The truth is, almost every story out there has been told at least 100 times in some form or another, but how many of those attempts are successful? Maybe 1 or 2? Sometimes never. We see so many crap movies about recovering alcoholics and people battling with their inner demons/children/careers that it's just not interesting to see anymore, so that's why we need 200 million dollars movies just to catch our eye and hold our attention. With it's simple formula, Applaus does what the majority of films out there cannot, and that is holding your attention firmly. It doesn't do this with big bells and whistles, but with a very careful and caring attention to detail that keeps you in a constant state of uneasiness that dips and rises from sadness, to suspense to moments of simple joy throughout the entire runtime.

If for nothing else, see this film for the amazing and refreshing acting of Paprika Steen who is actually being nominated for Best Actress I believe.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

a great Danish movie

9/10
Author: lovemily623-876-137943 from United States
28 October 2010

This is a memorable and moving Danish movie. It tells a story that in the world which we live, different people have different lives. In this film, Paprika Steen (playing Thea Barfoed) is a stage performer, used to be an alcoholic after she had suffered divorce and lost her children. When people face to the different circumstances of life, some people are the strong and optimistic, and others are weak and negative.

She had some psychological barriers, she didn't know how to love her family, her sons and husband the right way because she didn't even know how to love herself. So her husband divorced her and got the two boys. After a period of psychological treatment, her life is on to the right track. But she needs to face her faults and mistakes she made before. She loves her sons and she wants to spend time and live with them sometimes, but her ex-husband doesn't trust her and he is afraid the boys will be hurt again. She is very desperate and sad. I think Paprika's performance is superb, and she expresses her emotions very well. Her performance is very natural.

The film tells people how to face the mistakes of the past, and how to change her life for the better. Everybody needs salvation; While Thea looks for forgiveness from others, she must also forgive herself.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

brilliant acting, good film

9/10
Author: from United States
7 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Discerning cinephiles, especially those familiar with the kings and queens of bleak, the Danish, are in for a treat. Paprika Steen is absolutely riveting in Applause, which opened a one-week Best Actress Oscar-qualifying run at the Laemmle Sunset 5 on Dec 3. Screeners have been sent to members of the Academy, and Steen has flown in from Denmark for a series of SAG and American Cinematheque special events, as well as a host of publicity interviews and appearances in Los Angeles and New York. The movie premieres on January 21, 2011.

See the virtuoso performance that Karen Durbin of the New York Times described as, "one of the best screen performances of the year."

Steen plays acclaimed stage actress, Thea Barfold, who is trying to juggle three wobbly plates on long thin sticks without letting them crash, all while drinking. First, she shouldn't be drinking. That's why she and her husband are divorced and he has custody of their two young sons. Second, she's trying to convince her ex, her two sons, her ex's new wife (a shrink--great, just what Thea needs), as well as herself, that she's ready to resume some kind of motherly role before it's too late. As the movie opens we see Thea telling her sons she loves them only for the older one to reply, "Dad says you're crazy." Thea's smile, committed to portraying the new Thea, does not disagree with the assessment. Steen's half-thawed facial expression sets the tone for how she will captivate viewers from this moment forward. Constantly on-screen, Steen conjures a way of holding our attention rapt from start to finish. Oh, the third plate! I almost forgot. There it is now, barely spinning. In the midst of convincing her family and herself she is sufficiently steady and balanced and deserving of trust and time with her boys, Thea happens to be playing one of the most physically and mentally all-consuming characters an actress could possibly tackle: the insane drunk, Martha, in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Talk about an impossible juggling act.

Watch the scene where Thea takes her boys for a drive to a lake, without permission from their father, and tell yourself the plates are still spinning and Thea has it all under control.

If Steen gets nominated she'll win. She's that good.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Applause gets my applause

10/10
Author: lavender504 from United States
7 November 2010

Applause is a such a great movie! I got the chance to see it at a film festival and was impressed with Paprika Steen's performance. It's the type of movie that definitely keeps an audience engaged. It is an absolute "must-see." As an indie film lover, I haven't come across a film recently that is able to capture an audience with such powerful emotions throughout. It relates to many people in everyday life and Paprika is such a strong actress. I keep wondering why I haven't seen her in more films. This movie leaves you with a sense of empathy if you didn't have it before and gives you a chance to look at people's lives in a different perspective, since no one knows exactly what someone else may be going through in their personal lives. Paprika's ability to convey her character Thea was perfect. Her ability to sway an audience is phenomenal. I give the film two thumbs up and can't wait to see it again!

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A round for APPLAUSE

Author: falli101 from United States
15 September 2011

APPLAUSE is without a doubt one of the best films I've seen this year! It's so nice to see that there are still filmmakers out there who are more focused on telling a heartfelt human story than showing giant explosions.

Paprika Steen, who plays Thea, is fantastic and completely believable. While watching this film, you are somehow magically transported into her shoes and don't just see the world from her point of view, but feel her emotions and her pain. You see her struggle and really feel for her.

Unlike most foreign films, after it begins to really pick up speed, you don't even notice that it's in another language. You become so immersed in the story, you forget that you're even reading the subtitles.

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A Great Film! If you can see this, do it now!

Author: filmguytim from Garden Grove, CA
14 September 2011

I watched this film not really knowing what to expect. I was told by a friend to see it, and was really glad they suggested it! This is one of the best films I've seen this year. Paprika Steen stars as a recovering alcoholic actress who is struggling to overcome her addiction in order to stay with her children. It's a touching and stirring performance that will stay with you long after you've seen the film. I would recommend this film to anyone looking for a quality film. In this age of sequels and remakes, it's nice to see an original idea, especially one done so well. If you get an opportunity to see this film, take it right away! You won't be disappointed. :)

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A marvelous film

10/10
Author: camiharrier from United States
1 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recently I watched the marvelous film, Applause. I felt this was a simple film, but with incredibly deep characters. Even though it was in full-color, the image looked like black and white with a number of smoky images in the bar scenes and the cloudy Danish weather. I liked the way the soundtrack was used, as it was really minimal and didn't distract me from the actor's performances. You don't see a lot of US movies like this one - to me it was fresh and I realized how much I missed watching European films. The movie looked deep into Paprika Steen's character (Thea) of a mother, ex-wife, and actress. I enjoyed how Paprika acted the two sides of herself, a mother's sweet love for her children and her madness. I really thought about idea of marriage and having children because people always change over time depending on their situation and the environment that they live in. Thea's character was powerful, dynamic and so realistic.

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Superb Danish Film

10/10
Author: lisababel88 from United States
30 January 2011

Applause is one of those films that sucks you in from the very beginning and can hold an audience's attention until the end credits. At first, I thought the movie would be difficult to follow because of the Danish subtitles, however that was not the case. The main character, portrayed by the amazing actress, Paprika Steen, is very convincing as a mother and actress trying to separate her career roles from her personal life. Your heart really goes out to her as you sympathize with the struggles she is facing to turn her life around. The rest of the cast is very talented and did a wonderful job supporting such a movie as well. I am thankful I saw this film and am eager to see the entire cast in future projects. Applause is definitely a must-see!!

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Life vs Art

8/10
Author: llarusso from United States
24 January 2011

Paprika Steen gives an amazing performance as a successful actress (Thea Barfoed ) who is trying to put her demons behind her and get back her children. As the movie unfolds and Thea's personality is revealed, we can see the conflicts and problems that led to her losing her children in the first place.

I really liked how the movie cleverly uses a real stage play that Thea is starring in, as a comment on her life and personality. Her time on stage and backstage as the star is interwoven and contrasted with her encounters with her children and "real life".

And I was really impressed with Paprika Steen in the lead role. I cannot say I found the character of Thea entirely sympathetic but I could not look away. I was mesmerized by the moving portrait of this very flawed but magnetic personality trying to deal with her own failings. Ms. Steen's performance is not to be missed.

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This film got my applause!

9/10
Author: mv_310 from United States
12 January 2011

Having seen a number of leading female bravura performances this past year, I thought I had sealed shut my choices for best actress. I then had the pleasure of seeing the independent Danish film, 'Applause,' and Steen, without hesitation, became my favorite performance of the year (even vis-a-vis Portman as the fragile yet delusional Nina in 'Black Swan').

Although, on its face, the storyline may come across as another hackneyed portrayal of a melodramatic woman coping with alcoholism, Steen's performance brings forth such a raw and entrancing glimpse into the mind of Thea that you can't help but also feel her frustration and helplessness. Nevertheless, even though you see Thea at her lowest, you can still sense some maternal substance in her, which offers levity to an otherwise bleak ending.

An absolute tour de force performance that is a must-see!

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