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Anders Thomas Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Mick and Tom are an unlikely father-son team of petty thieves. They've been hired to steal a painting from a museum. By accident, they steal the wrong painting: Denmark's only original Rembrandt masterpiece, worth millions.
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
Michael has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is missing in action - presumed dead - and Sarah is comforted by Jannik, who against all odds shows himself capable of taking responsibility for both himself and the family. It soon becomes clear that their feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy. When Michael comes home, traumatized by being held prisoner in the mountains of Afghanistan, nothing is the same... Written by
The realism lies not in the war scenes, which work, but in the family ones, which are harrowing.
A remarkable movie in several ways. The first is just that it's well made, with two main layers of story line that are compelling, and some surprising and mostly believable turns. The second is that we (in the U.S.) have a look at the war in Afghanistan from non-American eyes. The echoes are inevitable, and so are the differences, in attitude by the soldiers and in public reaction.
The lead actor Ulrich Thomsen is compelling and versatile, and in some ways makes the movie. His range (which you have to see for yourself or you'll be tipped off) is terrific. His wife, played by better known Connie Nielsen (in her first Danish movie, even though she is Danish herself, and knows seven languages) is perfect, too, though she plays someone who is admittedly "boring" and so has less range. Finally, the lead man's brother, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, is charming and a wild card, making the trio appropriately imbalanced.
I say all this because it's an acting movie, and a movie about relationships and therefore about plot. It's not a war movie, but more about the effects of war. It's recommended for people who have absorbed American movies like The Hurt Locker. But more than that, it's just a well made, emotional, human interest film. There are a couple flaws (including the key part about the helicopter crash, which just doesn't hold up to common sense), but they are small in the larger, gritty realism of the whole.
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