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In a Better World (2010)

Hævnen (original title)
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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 11 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

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,058, 3 April 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,008,098

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,004,198
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

Susanne Bier mentioned that the meeting of Elias' mother with Christian's father in the headmistress' office was originally longer and was the first scene of a story line in the script that brought Christian to the belief there was a budding romance between them. Most of that story line was cut during editing because there were too many story lines (26:19 in the Blu-ray director's commentary). 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

Christian: If you hit them hard enough the first time they won't dare to hit you again.
See more »

Connections

Featured in DR2 Premiere: Episode #4.1 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"In-depth study of character..."
15 December 2010 | by SindreKaspersenSee all my reviews

Denmark's contribution to the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2011 delivers with great directing, acting and storytelling.

After his mother's funeral Christian moves to Denmark with his father, who he holds responsible for his mother's passing. On his first day at school in his home-country he meets Elias who is getting bullied by the schools boy mafia and defends him.

Two families struck by conflict crosses each other in Susanne Bier's tenth feature film where a thoroughgoing story from two different worlds about fathers and sons, revenge and redemption, sorrow, child upbringing and friendship is conveyed through Susanne Bier's varied perspectives and intimate filming. Susanne Bier's recently Golden Globe nominated film is an in-depth study of character with a brilliant Mikael Persbrandt in a somewhat untypical role where he really gets the chance to show his warmest character trades and several less though essential character studies of Ulrich Thomsen who is efficient in an underplayed role as a father trying to reach his son, the often engaging Trine Dyrholm in the leading female role and the two excellent young actors playing Elias and Christian. The films stunning cinematography, its tailored narrative and the thoughtful dialog in this compelling and well written psychological drama, makes it one of Susanne Bier's strongest dramas concerning human relations.


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