Danish Academy Award Winner Ulrich Thomsen stars as Michael, a man who has everything under control; a successful military career, a beautiful wife and two loving daughters. His younger brother Jannik is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN peacekeeping mission, it is not long before events turn dramatic and he is missing in action - presumed dead. Sarah is comforted by Jannik who against all the odds takes responsibility for himself and his brother's family. It soon becomes clear that Jannik and Sarah's feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy - the fragility of their emotions is constantly under threat as the balance between husband and wife and the two brothers changes forever.
A brilliant family drama which deals with momentous and horrifying events in an understated way- even the kids are excellent and Connie Nielsen has to be one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. The Americans liked this film so much that they recruited the director Susanne Bier to make Hollywood movies like “Things we lost in the fire” and gave this film the starry re-make treatment featuring Tobey McGuire and Jake Gylenhall- but the Danes got there first and it’s worth seeing the original before the US version.
A Danish soldier in Afghanistan who is presumed dead, loses his wife to the wastrel brother who has just been released from prison. Bier exhumes the hidden and denied agonies within the family relationship while charting the distress generated by this incident. A mature, emotionally volatile film in the Dogme style.
A truly engrossing and powerful movie. Brilliant acting by all of the cast and exceptional camera work. Directed by Susanne Bier who never fails to impress. There is one extremely disturbing scene which is not for the faint hearted but it is integral to the plot. I cannot praise this movie enough.
The photography has an amateur quality which I thought might be intentional and gives a distinct feeling. The acting is very believable. The plot is generally dramatic and the dramatic scenes truly unforgettable.