Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Den skaldede frisør
Denmark/Sweden/Italy/ France/Germany, 2012. Zentropa Productions, Zentropa International Sweden, Zentropa International Koln, Film i Vast, Lumiere & Company, Teodora Film, Slot Machine, Liberator Productions, ARTE, Network movie Film-und Fernsehproduktion, Zentropa Entertainments, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. Story by Susanne Bier, Anders Thomas Jensen, Screenplay by Anders Thomas Jensen. Cinematography by Morten Soborg. Produced by Sisse Graum Jorgensen, Vibeke Windelov. Music by Johan Soderqvist. Production Design by Peter Grant. Costume Design by Signe Sejlund. Film Editing by Pernille Bech Christensen, Morten Egholm. Toronto International Film Festival 2012.
Ida (Trine Dyrholm) has survived a terrible year battling breast cancer and is now on the road to recovery, just in time to attend her daughter’s wedding in Italy. Philip (Pierce Brosnan) runs a successful fruit and vegetable supply company and has been a workaholic since the day his wife died, barely looking forward to leaving his adopted Copenhagen to attend the same wedding as father of the groom. Ida’s trip is given a nasty spin when she comes home to find her husband having sex with the girl from accounting; even worse, her meeting her future son-in-law’s parent begins badly when she smashes into him in the airport parking lot. Thankfully, arriving in Italy means bucolic vistas and romantic happiness, or does it? A change of setting helps, but there are still wrinkles to work out: the couple at the centre of the festivities are having doubts, Ida’s husband has brought his new girl to the party, Philip’s sister-in-law is out to land him while he finds his reserve loosening up around our delightful heroine. Susanne Bier follows up her dark and disturbing In A Better World with a lighthearted romp that treads the boards of romantic comedy but goes deep beneath its surface. The situations she puts these people in are highly contrived, a requirement of the genre, but she has so much respect for the complicated nature of human emotions that you willingly ignore the manipulation in order to see these people through. Bier’s ability to create rich, three-dimensional characters is matched by a superb cast, with Dyrholm’s bewitching leading lady and Brosnan at his most romantically sensitive (and surprisingly moving) creating terrific chemistry between them. You won’t want it to end.