Kresten's dad dies and he returns to the farm on Lolland to take care of things incl. his retarded brother. He employs a hooker as maid. He loses wife and job due to lies. The maid's kid brother moves in and they're a family of 4.
Dennis and Carl are brothers who live on a small farm in the Danish countryside. None too bright, Dennis wants a girlfriend for Christmas. Carl makes sure that Dennis gets just that when he... See full summary »
Niels Arden Oplev
Anders W. Berthelsen,
Sidse Babett Knudsen
Kaj is an alcoholic living on the money the Danish state is providing him. Him and his friends spend their time drinking beer at a public bench. One day Kaj's life turns upside down when a young lady and her child moves in next to him.
Marius Sonne Janischefska,
Stine Holm Joensen
The last wish of the dying "Monk" is for his foster child, Harald, to find his real son, Ludvig. But the latter is currently in a Swedish prison cell. Peter and Martin - the two chefs - ... See full summary »
Lasse Spang Olsen
Tomas Villum Jensen
Four small-time gangsters from Copenhagen trick a gangster boss: they take over 4,000,000 kroner which they were supposed to bring him. Trying to escape to Barcelona they are forced to stop... See full summary »
Kresten has moved from his parents farm on a small Danish island to Copenhagen in order to pursue his working career. When his father dies he has to move back to the farm, where nothing much has happened since he left. He places an ad in the local newspaper to get help running the farm and taking care of his mentally disabled brother. A prostitute named Liva, who is running away from annoying telephone calls, answers it. But running away from your past isn't easy.Written by
I didn't know much about this movie going in, but I got a very nice surprise. The Kresten plot -- a yuppie summoned home to deal with his redneck past by the death of his father -- could have been a dull family drama, but this movie was much better than that. It turns out that he has a number of things about his past that he's kept secret from the people in his city life -- his retarded brother, the badly run-down farm he grew up on, and more. Some of his story is serious, and much is played for humor, with good taste separating the drama and humor.
The Liva plot -- a woman escaping prostitution into an honest common job -- was completely opposite the Hollywood presentation of prostitution. (Hollywood either glamorizes it, uses it as an opportunity to add gratuitous sex before switching to the gratuitous violence.) Liva's prostitution pays fairly well, but it's clearly miserable, degrading, full of fear, and sometimes danger. The movie shows why she wants out with understated drama -- instead of rubbing her misery in our faces, it shows us hints of it, but leaves room for us to imagine just how bad it is for her.
When Liva escapes prostitution with a job as Kresten's housekeeper, the her part in the movie switches from drama to comedy, in the form of funny situations and events that feel natural, rather than contrived gag situations.
The acting was very good, particular Iben Hjejle's portrayal of Liva. Anders W. Berthelsen played Kresten well, and Emil Tarding's smaller role as Liva's young brother Bjarke was also very good.
I had never heard of the Dogme film series until after seeing this movie. The only one Dogme rule that really matters to the movie was that the plot must stick to real life and avoid superficial violence. That demanded a plot where the characters and story matter, and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen delivered. The simple camera work, natural lighting, minimal set dressing, etc., didn't improve the movie. But neither did the simple movie-making detract from the quality -- they deserve praise for doing so well within their rules of simplicity. One additional benefit of the movie-making simplicity rules was that it kept the budget low, so that more good movies like this could be made.
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