Despite a decent dose of buzz from the Toronto Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film, Susanne Bier's latest drama came and went pretty quietly, racking up a modest $1.5 mil in the process. That's a damn shame: After the Wedding is veritably powerful stuff, an unassuming but profoundly moving tale about family and sacrifice. Like Bier's last work, Brothers, the film is heavy on the heavy and hardly ever humorous, outside of that wonderful-sounding Danish language, of course (Virtual high-five if you can pronounce the film's native title, Efter brylluppet). But that's not to say it's not tender, all the more surprising considering the last time we saw its gold-hearted hero he was bleeding from his eyes and making Daniel Craig sing falsetto as 007's Casino Royale villain La Chiffre. As Jacob, Mads Mikkelsen is almost annoyingly virtuous and strong-willed: He's sacrificed everything to help run a piss-poor orphanage in one of the piss-poorest corners of India. He's lured back to Denmark by the promise of a benefactor's deep pockets, invited to a fateful wedding there and... And then that's all I'll say, as the film is twistier than it looks, and that's really all you need to know. Well that and the fact that, no, Danish hottie Connie Nielsen never does make an appearance, despite the fact that she's Danish and all. Also a damn shame, but largely forgivable.
Bonus Points: The Q&A with Susanne Bier is a little on the dry side, focusing mostly on character motivations and thematic parallels. But it is worth watching at least for a few moments if only to behold the freaky resemblance Danish film critic Morten Piil bares to Inside the Actor's Studio kingpin James Lipton. Also includes eight deleted scenes.
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