Thursday, April 12, 2007

Foreign Cinema is Great: After the Wedding

After the Wedding
Directed by Susanne Bier
Released March 30, 2007

This film, from Denmark, is the fifth and final 2006 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film to be released in the United States, and it certainly merits a place among the competition. Bier's film is fresh and fascinating, the story of Jacob, who travels from India to Denmark to try to get funding for an orphanage but enters into a new world he never expected to find. Its opening minutes draw you in yet keep you distanced with disjointed shots edited in with stark close-ups of eyes and faces. The film also gets better as it goes along - it is very interesting from the start but truly great as the plot unfolds.

The performances in "After the Wedding" are excellent. Rarely have I accumulated so much information from a few mere glances between actors. Mads Mikkelsen, fresh off his turn as the bloody-eyed villain in "Casino Royale," brings a real human component to Jacob, able to act at the same time close and distant. Rolf Lassgard, as the rich and much-loved Jorgen, is stunning and infuses his character with a likeable yet intimidating aura. Sidse Babett Knudsen, as Jorgen's wife Helene, conveys so much yet has so few lines. But it is Stine Fischer Christensen, as Anna, who truly has a breakout role (this is only her second feature-length film) and conveys a great youthful excitement in her already well-written character.


Yossi said...

and Jorgen's voice? Oy, don't get me started. He puts James Earl Jones to shame...

Anonymous said...

One of the best films I have seen recently. Directing was superb.