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AFTER THE WEDDING

Director: SUSANNE BIER

DENMARK-SWEDEN • 2006 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 120 MIN


A POWERFUL DRAMA ABOUT SHATTERING REVELATIONS AND DIFFICULT CHOICES, AFTER THE WEDDING COULD EASILY HAVE BECOME UNBEARABLY SENTIMENTAL AND CLICHED. INSTEAD, THANKS TO A TIGHT SCRIPT, SHARP DIRECTION AND EXCELLENT ACTORS, THIS NEW FILM BY DANISH DIRECTOR SUSANNE BIER MANAGES TO BE BOTH EMOTIONAL AND ENGAGING.
Like her recent films Open Hearts and Brothers, After the Wedding is about the need for emotional honesty and its attendant conflicts. Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen) runs a struggling orphanage in India. Just as the charity is threatened with closure he receives an unusual proposition. A businessman in Jacob’s native Denmark offers him a huge cash donation on certain conditions, the first being that he return to Copenhagen to meet his mystery benefactor, Jørgen (Swedish actor Rolf Lassgard). Jørgen then slyly engineers Jacob’s attendance at his daughter’s wedding, and this seemingly chance occurrence presents Jacob with a troubling revelation, the ramifications of which raise a series of heartbreaking dilemmas for all involved.
Bier’s sure directorial hand coupled with another first-rate script by the prolific Anders Thomas Jensen (also a director and virtually a one-man film industry) ensure that After the Wedding sensitively raises troubling issues and speaks directly to one’s emotions without overwhelming them. The performances are outstanding across the board, and Bier’s collaboration with cinematographer Morten Søborg creates an uncomfortable sense of intimacy through the use of extreme close-ups. Already a critical and commercial hit in Scandinavia, it comes as no surprise that After the Wedding has also made the shortlist as ‘best foreign language film’ in the Oscar stakes.

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