Follows the lives of four longing souls. Ingeborg who feels unattractive and young Jonas who is so attractive that he can literally sell some of what he's got. Anna, a young beautiful woman... See full summary »
Follows the lives of four longing souls. Ingeborg who feels unattractive and young Jonas who is so attractive that he can literally sell some of what he's got. Anna, a young beautiful woman with a physical disability, and Anders, a tender man with a psychological disability. Four people yearning for love, four people, each hoping for a better tomorrow. Written by
"Smukke mennesker" is being cited as the box office bomb of the year in Danish cinemas, but I was captivated by it. Its multiple story lines of connected characters and its somewhat bleak and depraved point of view have critics throwing up comparisons to this and that source of inspiration, but I found the characters and the themes of sexual identity engaging on their own.
I was particularly impressed by Sebastian Jessen in arguably the leading role as the attractive, even beautiful young man who seems to decide to spend his youth on his own, away from parents or obligations, selling sexual favours with little discrimination, but not without empathy. Mille Hoffmeyer Lehfeldt is equally daring as a school teacher who chases some kind of physical fulfillment after losing a breast to cancer surgery. Bodil Jørgensen ('Idioterne') comically retires from the company where the young boss doesn't know anything about her, then loses her husband on the same day and has absolutely nothing to do. Henrik Prip, who I have never before considered an interesting actor, makes his woman-abusing, self-hating, therapist-seeking character seem almost likable. The supporting cast make excellent contributions.
There are numerous surprising or poignant or plain funny moments, some of them cringeworthy like the meeting of the young man with the old widow - on her couch. The characters, flawed as they are, made me care. I could have done without the chapter headings, which gave the proceedings a pompous edge and seemed to slow down an otherwise well-edited film. The ending presents an absurdly coincidental chance meeting, but I was happy to see the story go there.
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