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It's Helge Klingenfeldt's much-anticipated sixtieth birthday party, but no one is ready for the bombshell about to be delivered by his oldest son, Christian - a dark family secret that contributed to his twin sister's recent suicide. Helge Klingenfeldt (Henning Moritzen) is a respected Danish patriarch whose country estate is the scene of a grand celebration. Friends and relatives have arrived. The staff has prepared the most succulent foods to be served with the finest wines. Even Helge's squabbling adult children seem to be on their best behavior: free-spirited Helene (Paprika Steen), hot-blooded Michael (Thomas Bo Larsen), and sensitive Christian (Ulrich Thomsen) whose birthday toast turns the genteel celebration into a surprise party from hell.
For those of you who stumble upon this movie...
As the title suggests, I would like to write this review for those of you who stumble upon this movie by accident. This movie was made under the 'Dogma 95' principles. That is to say; it was made under a very strict code of conduct. The rules included prohibitions on credit, the director may not put his name anywhere in the movie or take any credit outside of the movie, prohibitions on content, no murders or salacious acts, no titles and no music, prohibition on technique, it must be shot digitally, ideally on a DV camera, there can be no tripods, no lights, no filters, no rehearsals for the actors, no props given to the actors by the crew. The list of rules seems to go on for eternity and no director ever fully followed them. The purpose of these principals was to remove any idea of directorial ego, and to maintian a true to life image. If you keep these principals and the lofty purpose of this movie in mind, I think you will find that with no technical distractions from the interpersonal drama, you will be arguably more swept away by the story in this movie than in any other. In the interest of expanding your horizons I definately recommend that you rent this and watch it through to the end.
... keep stumbling
Thank you for that quite erudite and informative review, I had not known of Dogma 95. However I do know of this movie, because I once stumbled across it on public television. I do not know what inertia or what perversity kept me from changing the channel, but I have never been so bored in my life. Truly stultifying inaction and endless subtitled pointless snore-inducing dialogue was interrupted only by a single galvanizing revelation and occasional snippets of racism. Do yourself a favor: Keep your hands in your pockets and keep it moving. S tumble on.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED