Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Brodre
Denmark/United Kingdom/Sweden/Norway, 2004. Two Brothers Ltd., Fjellape Film AS, Memfis Film, Sigma Films, Zentropa Entertainments. Story by Susanne Bier, Screenplay by Anders Thomas Jensen. Cinematography by Morten Soborg. Produced by Peter Aaelbaek Jensen, Sisse Graum Jorgensen, Jaume Vilalta. Music by Johan Soderqvist. Production Design by Viggo Bentzon. Costume Design by Signe Sejlund. Film Editing by Pernille Bech Christensen, Adam Nielsen.
Excellent drama by Susanne Bier about a family torn apart by war. Older brother Ulrich Thomsen has always been the example of responsibility while younger brother Nikolaj Lie Kaas never stops getting into trouble.
Thomsen leaves wife Connie Nielsen and two children behind to go fight in Afghanistan, forcing his wife and brother to cling to each other when he goes missing and is believed dead. When he returns, he steps directly into the middle of an awkward situation made worse by the fact that he is destructively haunted by a brutal act of survival he committed while being held a prisoner by the enemy.
Susanne Bier has made another deeply affecting drama in which believable characters and excellent dialogue performed by sterling actors keep the whiff of soap opera far away from the story, which could easily turn mawkish or sentimental and never does. Later remade, terribly, by Jim Sheridan in 2009.
European Film Award Nominations: Best European Film; Best European Actor (Ulrich Thomsen); Best European Actress (Connie Nielsen); Best European Director (Susanne Bier); Best European Screenwriter; Best European Composer
Toronto International Film Festival: 2004