7.6/10
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In a Better World (2010)

Hævnen (original title)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Susanne Bier

Writers:

Anders Thomas Jensen (screenplay), Susanne Bier (story) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mikael Persbrandt ... Anton
Wil Johnson ... Najeeb (as Will Johnson)
Eddy Kimani Eddy Kimani ... Patient (as Eddie Kimani)
Emily Mulaya Emily Mulaya ... Sygeplejerske
Gabriel Muli Gabriel Muli ... Læge
June Waweru June Waweru ... Sygeplejerske
Mary Ndoku Mbai Mary Ndoku Mbai ... Patient (as Mary Nduku Mbai)
Dynah Bereket Dynah Bereket ... Gammel dame
William Jøhnk Nielsen ... Christian (as William Jøhnk Juel Nielsen)
Ulrich Thomsen ... Claus
Elsebeth Steentoft Elsebeth Steentoft ... Signe
Satu Mikkelinen Satu Mikkelinen ... Hanna (as Satu Helena Mikkelinen)
Camilla Gottlieb ... Eva
Simon Maagaard Holm Simon Maagaard Holm ... Sofus
Emil Nicolai Helms 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 | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark | Sweden

Language:

Danish | Swedish | English | Arabic

Release Date:

26 August 2010 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

In a Better World See more »

Filming Locations:

Fåborg, Fyn, Denmark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,058, 3 April 2011

Gross USA:

$1,008,098

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,004,504
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took just three weeks in Danish cinemas for the film to turn a profit, according to the studio Zentropa. 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

[last lines]
Christian: Can't wait until you back at school.
Elias: Me too.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Arthur (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good movie, not quite excellent
3 June 2012 | by basilisksamukSee all my reviews

As with so many Scandinavian films and TV programmes this is strangely compelling and it's not always clear to me whether this is because they are so well made or because the culture is slightly different from ours. Unlike many American movies this was easy to watch and I was not aware of the time passing. On the contrary I was surprised when it ended as I was so absorbed.

I'm not however convinced of its stature as a masterpiece as some have claimed, or that it is a worthy Oscar winner. It's beautifully filmed and acted but the story seemed to be a bit laboured. I actually applaud the message that the director was trying to put across but in the end I felt a bit dissatisfied just because everything ended so well for everyone and they all seemed to have learned their lessons. You could say that I just wanted something more visceral on the lines of a Hollywood movie but that's not the problem. I just don't believe that all the major characters could emerge so relatively unscathed.

Perhaps the real message is that we should choose to believe in the best outcomes so that's the choice I am making.


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