With Your Permission (2007) Poster

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6/10
Well-played average danish movie
LaurentiusTS20 June 2008
This is a typical danish movie (and thank you Paprika for that!), and fortunately I had no great expectations to it, and therefore I saw it with an open mind.

I enjoyed watching Lars Brygmann playing this insecure, jumpy, stressed, far-from-reality and black/white character, because he does it so great. He also has some great facial expressions (one of them is during a conversation with Søren Pilmark in the beginning of the movie).

And Sidse Babett Knudsen has some great insane outbursts, which she plays with splendid (dis)grace, and I love her voice and eyes when she goes nuts.

Rasmus Bjerg and Nicolaj Kopernikus are OK side-characters, but they do not carry the movie in the way that Lars does (although they did make me laugh out loud in the most violent scene in the movie... black humor when its best...).

I thought at first that this very black (=sad) comedy would go on and on with no further development, and I feared that the movie would end leaving me with a "Thats it?!" feeling. But fortunately that didn't happen.

Because, although I enjoyed watching the disturbing marriage conflicts and the twisted therapy classes, it went nowhere fast. The script is not perfect, but I forgive Anders Thomas Jensen (the writer).

Because about halfway through the movie, it all slowly becomes clear why everything in Jan and Bentes life is so sad and stuck.

And from there on, the movie changes, and leaves the black comedy genre, and concentrates on the relationship between Jan and Bente.

I actually mostly enjoyed the second part of the movie, since its the part of the movie, that reveals what is beneath the surface in their relationship.

Also because Jan and Bentes characters develop along the way as they realize what really matters in their lives.

The side-characters, Jans colleagues at work, Søren Pilmark and Kirsten Lehfeldt, plays small parts but are flawless funny as always!

All in all, its an OK average danish movie (which I've seen a lot of!) I would want to see again, mostly because of Lars Brygmanns performance, but its not going on my DVD shelf.

PS: If you are an opera fan, this might help you in enjoying the movie.
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5/10
A charming but half-baked affair
some_empty_friend30 March 2008
If there ever were a film to hop around aimlessly from one plot point to another, "With Your Permission" is it. One should be aware that the film's tagline becomes obsolete within forty minutes of the film. After that, it's impossible to tell where the story trails off to, and more importantly why. The "where" is merely unsatisfactory. And the "why" is never answered.

What results is a series of plot lines strung around our anti-hero, Jan, and his unpredictable wife, Brente. Each plot line carries little depth; the crust of the story is baked, but there's a nice gooey middle. Characters are introduced without purpose. When the last shot cuts to the final credits, I couldn't help but wonder what I watched; what was the purpose of the film, the point, the thesis? Why did I spend 95 minutes watching a film that was supposed to be about a man who is beaten by his wife and maybe for once he'd do something about it, when in fact, that is only a small part of the story?

The one merit of this film is its execution. It was well-done, well-acted, and it looked great. Nothing too fancy with the camera, but the story didn't call for it. And though I don't speak Swedish, it still succeeded in being a humorous film.

The main fault is a weak script. There's just not much to it, but there's plenty potential for a story that could've transcended what it is.
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8/10
compare 3 : gone with the woman; with your permission; forever never anywhere
dumsumdumfai17 September 2007
Saw these 3 movies at 2007 toronto film fest, Gone with the Woman (GwtW), With Your Permission (WyP) and Forever Never Anywhere (FNA).

While WyP and GwtW both deals with perspectives of male/female relationships, both from the male PoV and the struggles it sometimes involves.

WyP is layered with reverse situation setups, slow plot revelations and memorable performances. Nothing is perfect, however, as WyP is every so slightly marred by a ... hmmmmmmm .... how shall I put it, ... an under-communicated closing shot. (As in Q&A the director pointed out she wanted a happy ending shot with a sense of "blue").

With that in mind, GwtW is a bit disappointing because it uses generalizations, and some stereotypes. There are high points of dialog, visualization but it feels like another version of 'Hi-Fidelity' ... grown men trying grow into their age .. by .. finding the missing one true self. And the execution feels Hollywood also.

FNA does not have the same theme, or belongs to the same category .. or any other that I can recall. It is fresh, humorous with some risk taking ... sometimes may have traversed over the limits of some viewers (but at no time degrades or degenerates into something less), is my most enjoyable film from the festival.

So 8 for WyP, 9 for FNA, 6 for GwtW. (this review is posted for al 3 movies)

POST EIDT : 2008 After a year, I still remember the story lines, the careful facial expressions of the leads, the careful reveals of this movie. Maybe deserves even higher ratings than I gave. But the ending was too sweet, too normal. But maybe I was expecting Aki Kaurismaki.
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