My Old Addiction

The Hunt (Jagten)

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(out of 5)


teaches kindergarten in the small town where he grew up, his life a perfectly ordered and pleasant one except for the sorrow of being separated from his son following a bitter divorce.  When a little girl makes a comment about him exposing himself to her inappropriately, his life goes into complete reversal as his guilt is immediately assumed by fellow citizens and things go in predictable places: fired from his job, rocks thrown through windows and inhospitable storekeepers.  Mikkelsen must bear it all with as much strength and control as he can muster, but the ordeal that director Thomas Vinterberg puts him through is not one that even the most grounded and sane person could possibly endure.  This smoothly acted and directed film richly benefits from the fine talent of its lead (deservedly taking home the Best Actor prize at Cannes) and the supporting cast of undetectable actors.  It’s difficult to understand exactly where Vinterberg wants to go with everything he puts his protagonist through, beyond the possibility that it is simply an exercise in high-stakes drama: is it a director showing a contempt for humanity?  It is late in the game before we are treated to anyone taking Mikkelsen’s side, after enjoying a lengthy spate of characters who are either grossly vindictive or maniacally inept (could his school principal possibly have behaved with less skill?  Or the child psychologist who very incorrectly leads the little girl with questions, for that matter?  Did NO ONE watch James Woods as the lawyer for the McMartin Trial?) We as an audience are given undeniable proof of Mikkelsen’s innocence from the very beginning, so this is not an exploration of a man’s moral shades of gray (not to mention that the little girl is given a mental health issue to boot).  This lack of subtlety does not keep it from being a highly compelling experience, however, nor is it the kind of manipulative silliness of Dancer in The Dark; it’s more likely the lament of a filmmaker who wants to believe that things will be okay and that humans are basically good, but experience has taught him otherwise and he can no longer deny it.


Danmarks Radio, Det Danske Filminstitut, Eurimages, Film i Väst, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond, Svenska Filminstitutet, Sveriges Television, Zentropa Entertainments, Zentropa International Sweden

Denmark, 2012

Directed by

Screenplay by , Thomas Vinterberg

Cinematography by

Produced by , , Thomas Vinterberg

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by ,

Academy Awards 2013

Cannes Film Festival 2012

Golden Globe Awards 2013

Independent Spirit Awards 2013.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012

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One reply to “The Hunt (Jagten)

  1. Not wanting to spoil the ending for those who have not seen it, I will say I found the ending puzzling. Otherwise, I liked the movie, but felt entirely wrung out after watching it. Intense, it certainly was.

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