Ditte (Lene Maria Christensen) owns a gallery, has a loving boyfriend (Pilou Asbæk) and her dream job in New York is within reach. But Ditte is also the youngest generation of the famous bakery dynasty, Rheinwald, and when her beloved, but dominating father (Jesper Christensen) comes down with a serious illness, Ditte is faced with the grueling decision: To pursue her own dreams, or to continue the legacy of her family. A Family is a moving and modern story about complicated family ties, the new wife, the new kids - and about following your dreams to find your own place in history. Written by
Dull characters are bewildered by the death of the patriarch
"En familie" revolves around the confusion caused by the death of a leading family member. The uncertainty it causes and the power vacuum it creates. Now, this could be an interesting story if the involved characters were interesting - if there was a sense of conflict among the succeeding generation. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If there is any conflict, it's between the dying generation (Richard Rheinwald) and his children about the future of the family bakery that has been in the family for generations and that Richard considers his lifework. None of his dimwitted children are capable of or interested in continuing the bakery business.
Other reviewers has praised this movie for the emotion it displays. If brooding confused adults is your thing, then this movie has emotion. Albeit unbelievable. While Richard Rheinwald has a seemingly genuine personality that slowly descends into despair, his family is remarkably dull. Most of the family members are just briefly explored. Most attention is given to Ditte Rheinwald, Richards daughter. She cannot decide whether or not to have a child. Whether or not to move to New York or stay in Denmark. Whether or not to be an artist or a baker. Whether or not to put her father in a nursing home or just his home. And when she eventually makes decisions, she remains confused and uncertain about them. In one scene she lashes out against her boyfriend and accuses him of not having any character, creating a psychological projection of her own insecurities.
Anyway, for me it was a drag to follow these indecisive daughters. I guess the message that the director may be trying to convey is that strong dominating patriarchs can perhaps create dull confused children. I don't know. This movie didn't leave any impression on me, it didn't give me anything to reflect upon.
I decided to give this movie 3 stars in recognition of the sporadic glimpses of comedy and in recognition of Jesper Christensens and Pilou Asbæks performances.
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