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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Distinctive Danish Films

Posted by Jacob D.

The Edwardsville Public Library has hundreds of foreign films on DVD in dozens of languages. You might be familiar with French films like Amelie or Spanish-language films like Pan’s Labyrinth, but have you heard of these Danish gems?

Babette’s Feast (1987)
Two devout sisters who live a monastic lifestyle take in Babette, a refuge from France’s civil war. For years, she cleans and cooks traditional Danish meals for the sisters. When she wins a lottery, Babette decides to prepare a gourmet French meal. What follows is a look at the transcendent power of food in this magical little film. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1987.

After the Wedding (2006)
A powerful family drama starring Mads Mikkelsen, who is now famous for his roles as a Bond villain and TV’s Hannibal. Mikkelsen plays Jacob, a native of Denmark who runs an orphanage in Mumbai. In some Dickensian twist of fate, a very rich man offers to donate millions to the orphanage if Jacob returns to Denmark for a wedding, and of course, things get complicated. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2006. 
The Hunt (2012)
Another film starring Mads Mikkelsen. Here, he is a man falsely accused of abusing a child in his care. The film makes it clear that he is innocent, but this is a story of a man who is seen as guilty in the public opinion of a small, close-knit town and must continue to live in this hostile community. This is a film driven by performances, and Mikkelsen’s performance earned him the Best Actor Award at Cannes Film Festival in 2012. 

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