In a Better World (Haevnen)

Most of this Danish movie revolves around two boys, Elias (Markus Rygaard) and Christian (William Johnk Nielsen), whose disparate paths cross when Christian stands up for the picked-on Elias and sends a bully to the hospital. Under Christian’s wing now, Elias watches helplessly as the two are launched headfirst down a spiral of destruction and escalating vengeance that threatens their own lives and the lives of others. Countless subplots are thrown in until In a Better World (which won this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar) takes on the tone of a really well-acted school assembly, where overly obvious morality scenarios are acted out in a “good” way and a “bad” way. Director Susanne Bier marches out plot developments not as organic reactions, but as deliberately contrary philosophies forced to go head-to-head in a cage match.

Credits

Director:

  • Susanne Bier

Cast:

  • Ulrich Thomsen
  • Mikael Persbrandt
  • Trine Dyrholm
  • Bodil Jørgensen
  • Camilla Gottlieb
  • Toke Lars Bjarke
  • Ditte Gråbøl
  • Satu Helena Mikkelinen
  • William Jøhnk Nielsen
  • Markus Rygaard

Writers:

  • Susanne Bier
  • Anders Thomas Jensen

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