Friday, May 07, 2010

After the Wedding

I watched the Danish film After the Wedding on Netflix Instant Play. It was a deeply moving film that mostly avoided the movie cliches to which its American remake will probably succumb.

[Spoilers below.]

The film concerns Jacob, a youthful social worker in India who is sent home to Denmark to secure a large grant from Jørgen, a wealthy real-estate developer. Since Jacob's stay in Denmark overlaps a weekend, Jørgen invites him to his daughter's wedding. Jacob attends . . . whereupon he discovers that Jørgen's wife Helene was his own teenaged lover, and that the daughter getting married is, in fact, his own.

Now, any American movie with this premise would be setting up a love triangle, but there is much more at stake in this film as it slowly reveals Jørgen's true agenda. Particularly compelling is Rolf Lassgard's performance as Jørgen. He gives the character the right mix of earthiness and brillo that is vastly superior to the legion of John Houseman knockoffs.

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