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The Candidate (2008)

Kandidaten (original title)
Not Rated | | Thriller | 29 August 2008 (Denmark)
1:37 | Trailer
Jonas Bechmann, a defense attorney, is a man of the system. Until the day he himself is accused of murder. Taking matters into his own hands, he throws himself into the hunt for a group of ... See full summary »


Kasper Barfoed


Stefan Jaworski
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nikolaj Lie Kaas ... Jonas Bechmann
Ulf Pilgaard Ulf Pilgaard ... Martin Schiller
Laura Christensen ... Louise
Tuva Novotny ... Camilla
David Dencik ... Michael
Kim Bodnia ... Claes Kiehlert
Henning Jensen ... Peter Bechmann
Jesper Langberg Jesper Langberg ... Jørgen Hammel
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen ... Sarah
Henning Valin Jakobsen ... Afpresser 1
Claus Riis Østergaard ... Afpresser 2
Peter Plaugborg Peter Plaugborg ... Den Tynde Mand
Henrik Prip Henrik Prip ... Henrik Linde
Marijana Jankovic ... Kathrine Malling
Iben Dorner ... Schillers Assistent (as Iben Amelieh Emine Dorner)


Jonas Bechmann, a defense attorney, is a man of the system. Until the day he himself is accused of murder. Taking matters into his own hands, he throws himself into the hunt for a group of blackmailers who threaten to expose him as the killer. But nothing is what it appears to be, and the blackmail links back to his father's death under mysterious circumstances a year and a half earlier. Written by Danish Film Institute

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Guilty... until proven otherwise.




Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

29 August 2008 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A jelölt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miso Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jonas Bechmann: You spiked my drink, didn't you? Didn't you?
Louise: Yes, with a rape drug. I was told to get you into the room, until you passed out.
See more »


Featured in Smagsdommerne: Episode #8.2 (2008) See more »


Sing Song
Written by Jacob Christoffersen
Performed by Jacob Christoffersen Trio
See more »

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User Reviews

A superb Danish nail-biter
14 September 2013 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This 2008 Danish thriller has now been issued on DVD with English subtitles to take advantage of the wave of enthusiasm for 'Nordic noir'. It is well worth it. It is a superb example of noir, far better than many American attempts. In fact, it has already been sold to Hollywood for one of those 'remakes' of foreign films which America produces for audiences too lazy to read subtitles, but which are always inferior to the originals. Few people appear to have seen this film yet, as there are only two reviews on IMDb so far. Perhaps viewers are deterred by the fact that the DVD box only has Danish on it, and no English language blurbs, but the subtitles are on the film and are well done. This film is an extremely tense nail-biter about revenge, corruption, and murder. The pace and the tension never let up for one second, and the direction is excellent by Kasper Barfoed. He has already entered the English language film world as the director of the excellent new thriller THE NUMBERS STATION (2013), which I hope to review if time allows, as it is an example of a successful migration of a Danish noir director into our language. The original screenplay of this film is by Stefan Jaworski, who from his name seems to be some kind of a 'Danish Pole', hard to imagine but stranger things have happened (such as Piper Perabo, who is a 'Norwegian German American', once thought to be a 'Portuguese Norwegian', but I see that has in recent weeks been corrected on her IMDb bio and Portugal has been dropped entirely from her pedigree, much to the dismay of all the Portuguese, I am sure). Jaworski has an amazing talent for inventing the most hair-raising twists and turns in a thriller script, and I suspect he must be a good chess player. The lead in this film has been well chosen. He is Nikolaj Lie Kaas (the Lie family being a famous family in Norway, which is possibly why he retains that middle name in a position of prominence for his screen credits). He himself is Danish and has appeared in 54 films despite being only 30 years old. In this film he appears to be constantly in a state of intense angst and confusion, and is so stressed-out, it hypes up the tension of the story to higher levels. 'Why,' he wonders hopelessly, 'are people trying to kill me all the time?' After all, his father had been killed a year earlier, and now the same people are after him. But there are so many false identities and false deaths and blind alleys in this story that it is a perfect puzzle. People who like playing Sodoku will love it, as the entire film is a gigantic intellectual miasma. As usual with Scandinavian and French thrillers of these days, monstrously corrupt people are abusing their power, perverting 'the system', and stopping at nothing to get what they want. And alas, that is a pretty accurate depiction of our contemporary world. Admirers of BORGEN will notice the girl who plays Katrine appearing in a supporting role here, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, this time with dark hair. Ulf Pilgaard plays the sinister lawyer Martin Schiller, and he too will be recognised from BORGEN, where he played Joachim Chrone. Laura Christensen, who plays Louise, will be recognised from THE KILLING, where she played Lisa. Kim Bodnia plays the evil gangster Claes Kiehlert, and will be recognised from THE KILLING where he played Bulow, and that terrible Swedish series which I hated, THE BRIDGE (2011-13), where he plays Martin Rohde. Even Henning Jensen, who appears only briefly as the hero's father in flashbacks, was in THE KILLING as Gilsfort. One could go on like this, drawing the endless traces of the spider's web of the pool of Danish talent from one production to another. But it is clear that the Danes have amassed what is effectively a superior repertory company of highly-skilled actors which reminds us unmistakably of the similar group in Sweden during the Ingmar Bergman years. And with all that talent swimming in the Danish cultural seas, there is rich fishing to be had.

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