7.7/10
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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.

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(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Najeeb (as Will Johnson)
Eddy Kimani ...
Patient (as Eddie Kimani)
Emily Mulaya ...
Sygeplejerske
Gabriel Muli ...
Læge
June Waweru ...
Sygeplejerske
Mary Ndoku Mbai ...
Patient (as Mary Nduku Mbai)
Dynah Bereket ...
Gammel dame
...
Christian (as William Jøhnk Juel Nielsen)
...
Elsebeth Steentoft ...
Signe
Satu Helena Mikkelinen ...
Hanna
...
Eva
Simon Maagaard Holm ...
Sofus
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 | Add 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:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 August 2010 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

In a Better World  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,058 (USA) (1 April 2011)

Gross:

$1,007,908 (USA) (2 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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

Eva's hands change position on Christian's face when she is holding him in the hospital corridor. See more »

Quotes

Anton: Sometimes it feels like there is a veil between you and death, but that veil disappears when you lose someone you loved or someone who was close to you, and you see death clearly, for a second, but later the veil returns, and you carry on living. Then things will be alright again.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.11 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A haunting insight into man's soul
12 February 2011 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

I saw this on the plane the other day, and my only regret is that it was on a small screen.

I've come to like Danish films in general (and Ulrich Thomsen in particular) in recent years, although they are usually not very easy to watch. What they all seem to have in common is a certain melancholy, and they can therefore come across as rather depressing.

The same here. Christian's mother's cancer death is quite obviously affecting both the boy and his dad very, very deeply (though in very different ways), and the deep sorrow seem catchy for the viewer as well. It is probably also, however, a sign of the brilliant acting.

The parallel storyline of Elias and his parents, who are in the process of a divorce, affects the viewer equally deeply.

The stories are brilliantly interlinked, and the underlying theme of revenge is constantly there and makes us think. A lot! A deep-going, dramatic and extremely powerful movie, which, I think, a wide audience should see. In my view, it would certainly deserve an Oscar!


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