After the Wedding

After the Wedding - Susanne Bier
Susanne Bier's After the Wedding was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film in 2006, and is excellent.

It tells the story of a Dane in India, Jacob (excellently played by Mads Mikkelsen), who reluctantly returns to his homeland after twenty years. He returns to meet with a mysterious man who offers to provide funds for a orphanage Jacob runs in India. When explaining to Pramod (his adopted son-of-sorts) that he must leave, the precocious eight year old asks about the wealth of people in Denmark and finally concludes, "If I was rich, I'd be happy."

After the wedding - sceneThe funds of the orphanage are running low, and Jorgen (Rolf Lassgård) - a wealthy benefactor - promises to donate millions of dollars to the orphanage. But there's a catch. Jacob must collect the funds himself in Copenhagen, and attend the wedding of the eccentric millionaire's daughter.

But once Jacob meets the benefactor's wife Helene (played by a radiant Sidse Babett Knudsen), it's obvious to the viewer that the two have a complicated history. It’s also likely that her daughter Anna (Stine Fischer Christensen) most probably is theirs. So why did Jorgen invite Jacob to Anna's wedding? Does he know Jacob is Anna's father? Is something nefarious in the works? What?

The story in After the Wedding is well-told, and the dialogues full of dry humor. The characters are intriguing and diverse. It is beautifully filmed. This entertaining and thought-provoking and to some extent unsettling movie is great, with several interesting twists and turns, and Susanne Bier does an excellent job. Mikkelsen is particularly good, whether he's channeling his anger at having been shut out of his maybe-daughter's life for the past 20 years, or having to grovel a bit to get Jorgen to donate the funds as promised to his orphanage. After the Wedding is a bitter-sweet story with memorable characters and interesting circumstances that I recommend!

Product Details (US version)

  • Actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgård, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Stine Fischer Christensen, Christian Tafdrup
  • Director: Susanne Bier
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Danish, English, Hindi, Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes

After the Wedding - trailer

In a Better World - DVD / Blu-ray

In a Better World - susanne bier

In a Better World starts out like any other good, well directed movie with a decent photographer. Things look good and interesting, but in a normal kind of way. Knowing that In a Better World had received rave reviews and even an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for 2010, I was, however, expecting more and looking for more. And for a while I thought I didn't see it - that "whatever" this movie was supposed to have was eluding me. Then, after 10 or so minutes, the story and the movie grabbed hold of me. I was being sucked in, and enjoying it.

In a Better World is a very strong, emotionally charged movie. We meet a normal Danish family in a "normal" Danish setting. But what is normal? The father in the movie (Mikael Persbrandt) works as a doctor for Doctors without Borders in an African country ruled by warlords with total disregard for lives and civilians. Back in Denmark, his son experiences another kind of bullying - the "normal" Danish variety - in his local school, with strong boys bullying the weaker ones. Both father and son are faced with the eternal question: What does one do with bullies? Fight, with the risks involved in doing that; or back off and perhaps lose face and feel cowardly?

In a Better WorldIn a Better World tells a great and charged tale involving this ages old dilemma of how to deal with those that are stronger in an engaging and meaningful manner in the context of a deep and unusual friendship between two young boys. The actors - Mikael Persbrandt as the doctor, Trine Dyrholm as the doctor's estranged wife, and Ulrich Thomsen as the father of another Danish boy, all perform flawlessly. And Director Susanne Bier as usual does a wonderful job of tell a great story in a well thought out and skillfully executed manner. In a Better World is an outstanding, very touching, well made movie, and great entertainment!

Product details:

  • Actors: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm
  • Directors: Susanne Bier
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
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