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In a Better World (2010)
"Hævnen" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  26 August 2010 (Denmark)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 27,768 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 81 user | 194 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

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(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Najeeb (as Will Johnson)
Eddy Kimani ...
Patient (as Eddie Kimani)
Emily Mulaya ...
Sygeplejerske
Gabriel Muli ...
Læge
June Waweru ...
Sygeplejerske
Mary Ndoku Mbai ...
Patient (as Mary Nduku Mbai)
Dynah Bereket ...
Gammel dame
...
Christian (as William Jøhnk Juel Nielsen)
...
Elsebeth Steentoft ...
Signe
Satu Helena Mikkelinen ...
Hanna
...
Eva
Simon Maagaard Holm ...
Sofus
Emil Nicolai Helms ...
Sofus' skolekammerat
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Storyline

Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian's mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy. Written by Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Producer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and disturbing content some involving preteens, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 August 2010 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

In a Better World  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,058 (USA) (1 April 2011)

Gross:

$1,007,908 (USA) (2 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 13:37 in the Blu-ray director's commentary, Susanne Bier notes that Elias' braces were Markus Rygaard's own braces, not filming props. Having the bullies call him "rat face" was devised after casting, reasoning that, were he bullied, it would be in part for the braces. See more »

Goofs

When Anton (Michael Persbrant) performs his first surgery he scratches his head/corrects the position of his mask after having put on sterile gloves (at around 42 mins) thereby contaminating them and risking that the patient gets infected. A real surgeon would never do this, and if she or he did, she or he would change gloves. See more »

Quotes

Anton: Sometimes it feels like there is a veil between you and death, but that veil disappears when you lose someone you loved or someone who was close to you, and you see death clearly, for a second, but later the veil returns, and you carry on living. Then things will be alright again.
See more »

Connections

Featured in DR2 Premiere: Episode #4.1 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Where does it end?
3 September 2010 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

After his mother's death, Christian moves once again, and starts in a new school. He meets Elias, and defends him against bullies. The latter's father works as a doctor in Africa, with a sadistic crime lord nearby. And so we have the setting for a drama exploring revenge, as well as power struggles, loss and fear. The overall moral isn't going to surprise anyone(and it isn't entirely consistent), and this does occasionally stoop to a cliché. However, it remains a gripping and effective film, and it manages to interject a lot of insight and truth, seeing situations from multiple different perspectives. This is the second movie by Bier that I watch, and I am confirmed in my assertion that Things We Lost in The Fire was a fluke, and not representative of her level of talent(it should be noted that the main problem with that one was the script, and she had nothing to do with that). She abandons the eyeball shots, and there is much rejoicing. The camera is close at times, though no longer oppressively so. This has a cinematography similar to the show NCIS, with hand-held cameras. I didn't feel like the nature footage added anything, at least not that of Denmark. The editing puts you right there, without being annoying or particularly drawing attention to itself. This is written by the man behind Den Du Frygter, Mørke and Blinkende Lygter(and other famous ones, but those are the ones I've seen and liked), and his skill and credible, human characters(that are the focus) shines through. Everything is set up, and most of it pays off. The acting is excellent, without exception, the kids especially. Our half-way orphaned lead captures every look and movement to perfection, and they really did find someone who could be Thomsen's son. Bodnia returns to a typecast role for him, and delivers. The vast majority of the humor works, and nearly none of it detracts from the serious and important subject. Everyone can recognize the little brother in someone they do or have known. The music is appropriate and not distracting. Dialog is great. No soap opera moments, it all comes across as entirely genuine, and nothing comes out of the blue. The tone is mature and honest; we don't feel preached to, or lectured, this respects its audience and honestly understands what it has to say, it isn't merely repeating a mantra. There is gore(think ER) and disturbing content in this. I recommend it to anyone that this at all appeals to. 8/10


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