In A Better World: Movie Review
In A Better World
Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen
Director: Susanne Bier
After snagging a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, and with an Oscar
nomination in tow, it would appear In a Better World can do no wrong.
It opens in Africa with Persbrandt's Anton working as a doctor in a field
hospital and dealing with the fall out of a warlord and combat.
Anton is the pacifist, preferring to take the moral high ground rather than
strike the first blow - but it's more difficult for his son Elias back in
Denmark. He's bullied by the school kids and a bit of a loner.
One day, new kid on the block, Christian defends him - and a friendship
forms. But as the friendship grows, Christian, who's recently lost his mother to
cancer and is full of anger plots revenge on those who would do him and his
And it all escalates with devastating consequences.
In a Better World is a powerhouse, slow burning drama.
With evocative cutaways (either in Africa or Denmark), there's a real
brooding intensity throughout - and while Persbrandt is good as Anton, the film
belongs to the kids - William Jøhnk Nielsen as Christian and Markus Rygaard as
Both bring a real intensity to their
brooding - Nielsen's particularly subtle in his role as a kid who's experienced
loss and grief and doesn't know where to channel it.
Expect to become quickly engrossed in this drama - it's
multi-layered, subtle and deeply rewarding. As the emotional tense pressure
cooker boils up, you will be moved by the powerful punch it packs at the end.
And it will probably be clearing some space for
Oscar very soon.