Two brothers meet at their mother's funeral, each in his way on a path of self-destruction, both haunted by a tragedy in their youth.Two brothers meet at their mother's funeral, each in his way on a path of self-destruction, both haunted by a tragedy in their youth.Two brothers meet at their mother's funeral, each in his way on a path of self-destruction, both haunted by a tragedy in their youth.
What we witness is the compelling story of two brothers divided by life, united by the same tragic event. Both adrift in their sorrow, they run down their self-destructive paths, with little to fight for.
It is no big drama, though. The narration is gentle and respectful, and leaves the audience in the position of not being able to judge the characters for their almost invariably wrong choices, but with a strong feeling of compassion for all of them.
The performances of the whole cast are extremely convincing (including the little boy playing Martin)and Vinterberg's direction - unlike his previous Dogma movies - is at the service of the disturbing realism of the story, working at the same time with a beautiful composition of the scenes (the cinematography, from the very first scenes, helps going straight to the soul). Chapeau.
A special praise has to go to the two actors playing the grown-up brothers. Jakob Cedergren (Nick) in particular makes us see the fragility of his character through his eyes, despite his apparent and imposing physical strength. But the whole cast is really credible all along, both with their physical appearance and their realistic acting.
This movie, with its realistic description of the consequences and the dynamics of substance addiction, destroyed families (what a critic to the Scandinavian society, where alcoholism is a devastating plague) should be screened in every high school.
And, let's say the truth: if you don't find yourself silently weeping in the last prison and church scenes, you most likely have no heart at all. I am fighting with my tears right now, just playing the movie in my mind again.
- Feb 14, 2010