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Christian

After the Wedding (2006)

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We have two entries on this film in �A Look Outside,� but I wanted the film to have its own A&F discussion thread.

I don�t have a lot of time to post, but here�s high praise from Past the Popcorn, and Ron Reed blogged it as well.

I watched it last night. I�ve not seen director Susanne Bier�s other work (Brothers and Open Hearts), but I suspect I�d like them. There are redemptive themes at work in After the Wedding, although the storyline plays out in a messy fashion.

Every time someone stood up to give a toast, I braced myself, sensing that this film was going to turn into The Celebration all over again. What is it with the Dogme crowd and celebratory toasts, anyway?

In brief, the film tells the story of an idealistic man, Jacob, who runs a financially troubled Indian orphanage, and who visits a benefactor he hopes will sustain the work. The benefactor, Jorgen, needing time to think over his planned donation, invites Jacob to his daughter�s wedding, where the past lives of certain individuals are laid bare. It�s never quite as arduous as The Celebration, but it�s coldly riveting at times, with Jorgen�s motives a question mark until late in the film.

A late scene of Jorgen grappling with his own future prospects was the only false note in the film, and that may be more a personal grudge than anything inherent in the drama.

After the Wedding is compelling, surprising, and strangely satisfying. I hope other A&Fers will seek it out.

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Links to my rt interview with Bier and my review

It's firmly in the running for my year end Best Films list.

And I would highly recommend you take a look at Brothers.

Darrel, have you had a chance to see The Things We Lost in the Fire yet? Bier's got a very particular visual style, based on this one and After the Wedding (I haven't seen Brothers). Thematically, she's mining some rich territory, but I'm worried about what American critics are going to do to her English-language debut.

This is not an indication of my own reaction, but a hunch about how the movie will be received, in part because of Bier's stylistic tics.

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Darrel, have you had a chance to see The Things We Lost in the Fire yet? Bier's got a very particular visual style, based on this one and After the Wedding (I haven't seen Brothers). Thematically, she's mining some rich territory, but I'm worried about what American critics are going to do to her English-language debut.

This is not an indication of my own reaction, but a hunch about how the movie will be received, in part because of Bier's stylistic tics.

Haven't seen the film, only trailer. Certainly looks like it fits well with her emphasis on films that deal with the meaning of family (which may be mentioned in the interview from After the Wedding). I suppose American critics who have seen her Danish work will be ready for her. I think it will be interesting to compare how her work in an American film compares to what will happen to her films that are redone as American films.

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After The Wedding has held the #2 spot in my queue for a frustrating two months.

It reads: "LONG WAIT."

No, duh.

And I would highly recommend you take a look at Brothers.

And I would highly recommend you relook at Open Hearts, which in retrospect I believe I favor over Brothers, although I do like them both. But the reason to take a look at Open Hearts, and quickly, is because it is about to be bastardized.

The more I think of Susanne Bier, the more I think that she does with characters what Lynne Ramsay does with visuals. She blends them together in a narrative way that you didn't expect at all, and once it settles in, becomes more real and present conveying a beautiful truth about life.

I am really looking forward to After the Wedding, regardless of missing it on the big screen and the long waiting queue.

-s.

Edited by stef

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stef wrote:

: After The Wedding has held the #2 spot in my queue for a frustrating two months.

Wow, bummer. Mind you, I held onto my own copy for at least three weeks before finally watching it and returning it a few days ago. (Curse these busy schedules!)

Anyway, I liked this film a lot. Wouldn't mind checking it out again sometime in the near-ish future.

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stef wrote:

: After The Wedding has held the #2 spot in my queue for a frustrating two months.

Wow, bummer. Mind you, I held onto my own copy for at least three weeks before finally watching it and returning it a few days ago. (Curse these busy schedules!)

Anyway, I liked this film a lot. Wouldn't mind checking it out again sometime in the near-ish future.

You're not reviewing it?

These are the films that NEED reviews.

-s.

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And I would highly recommend you relook at Open Hearts, which in retrospect I believe I favor over Brothers, although I do like them both. But the reason to take a look at Open Hearts, and quickly, is because it is about to be bastardized.

Brothers is getting an American treatment too, directed by Jim Sheridan (a good thing), with Jake Gyllenhall and Tobey Maguire (hmmm.) Starts shooting next month, so it should beat the Open Hearts remake that's on hold.

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And I would highly recommend you relook at Open Hearts, which in retrospect I believe I favor over Brothers, although I do like them both. But the reason to take a look at Open Hearts, and quickly, is because it is about to be bastardized.

Brothers is getting an American treatment too, directed by Jim Sheridan (a good thing), with Jake Gyllenhall and Tobey Maguire (hmmm.) Starts shooting next month, so it should beat the Open Hearts remake that's on hold.

Is there nothing sacred anymore?

Hmnf.

-s.

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I watched this tonight... it still hasn't fully sunk in though.

I liked it quite a bit. It's fair to say that I'm a Mads Mikkelsen fan these days, but the other principles turned in quite nice performances as well. Danish cinema has really excited me, recently. I'm glad there's more to it than Von Trier.

I thought After the Wedding was a little too dramatic. The plot struck me as overly contrived, though it was played out well. There are a few similarities to Secrets and Lies, but I guess that film felt a little more... authentic.

Still, very well performed and very much worth my 2 hours. I'm making Things We Lost in the Fire a much higher priority now.

The Lives of Others will be later this week, and I honestly don't really want to see Pan's Labyrinth, but otherwise I'm wrapping up on last year's foreign film nominees.

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I actually broke down in this film, in the simplest scene of them all. Maybe it caught me off guard, hard to say. It was the healing in the words spoken to Anna is the midst of the

catching of her adulterous husband

.

I believe the words were simply, "

You're beautiful

." And I think she really needed to be reminded of that, and by a parent.

Overall, I loved the film.

Can't believe that until coming to the forums today for the first time in a month, that I've completely missed any chance at seeing Things We Lost in the Fire in the theater. It seems that I'm consistently late to whatever film Bier is currently showing.

-s.

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Danish cinema has really excited me, recently. I'm glad there's more to it than Von Trier.

I've been thinking about this quote today and I think you are not necessarily dissing LVT in it, but rather are thankful that more than his films are the kind that are leaving Denmark. (And his films might be done anyway, as news reports have shown him going thru a severe depression and announcing his retirement from filmmaking. Which I guess I don't really believe.)

It should be pointed out however that were it not for LVT, Susann Bier would more than likely still be sitting in Danish obscurity. And I'm personally glad she isn't. So we thank LVT for many things, but busting a crop of filmmakers out of Danish obscurity should definitely top that list.

-s.

Edited by stef

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I've been thinking about this quote today and I think you are not necessarily dissing LVT in it, but rather are thankful that more than his films are the kind that are leaving Denmark. (And his films might be done anyway, as news reports have shown him going thru a severe depression and announcing his retirement from filmmaking. Which I guess I don't really believe.)

I guess a fair interpretation of my quote would be "I'm glad there's more to Danish cinema than well-crafted yet depressing films that destroy their main characters for no apparent reason." But I've only liked 1 of the 3 Von Trier films I've seen.

Nevertheless I'm glad you pointed out that his contributions extend beyond his films. Certainly he deserves a lot of respect as a filmmaker even if I'm not personally a fan of all of his works.

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