FEBRUARY 15, 2014

Evoking one of the most emotionally conflicted responses I have ever had during a film, Thomas Vinterberg’s latest foreign-language film, “The Hunt” will have you yelling at the screen in no time. Some films benefit from keeping its secrets until the very end, playing close to the chest, and shocking audiences with reveals. “The Hunt” is an example of a film that is made by not keeping any secrets and allowing the audience in on the secrets and watching the aftermath unfold. Mads Mikkelsen stars in a career-defining role as Lucas, a lowly Kindergarten teacher. He is well received by the children, begins a relationship with one of the other teachers, and enjoys the company of his best friends and neighbors as he lives the life of a divorcee. That is until he is accused of sexual misconduct by his best friend’s daughter who is also one of his students after she kisses him and he responds by telling her it was wrong.

What eventually sets this film apart is how blatant this accusation is wrong, with the audience being privy to the truth. The turmoil that results in the audience is palpable, as you witness the destruction of his small life, from the lost chance at getting to live with his son, to become the pariah of the neighborhood and his friends, resulting in fistfights at a grocery store and other unspeakable acts, including the death of a family pet. Despite the dark tone and nature of the material, Vinterberg finds a way to balance out the emotions, delivering some truly satisfying plot progressions and distinct characters that help guide this film into uncharted territories. Yearning for the character of Lucas to find resolve no matter what is thrown at him, the film brings up plenty of good points about trusting children and how blind parents can become when faced with such unnatural happenstance. Heartbreakingly delivered, “The Hunt” evokes such strong emotion out of its audience that it becomes a spectacle, with a strong narrative structure and a high caliber performance from Mikkelsen. You will never be so positively frustrated in all your life and you will have Thomas Vinterberg’s expert story-telling skills and ability to take chances to thank for it.

July 12, 2013

Thomas Vinterberg

Tobias Lindholm
Thomas Vinterberg

Magnolia Pictures

(for sexual content including a graphic image, violence and language)

115 minutes

Charlotte Bruus Christensen

Nikolaj Egelund

Anne Østerud
Janus Billeskov Jansen

Mads Mikkelsen
Thomas Bo Larsen
Annika Wedderkopp
Lasse Fogelstrøm
Susse Wold
Anne Louise Hassing
Alexandra Rapaport
Sebastian Bull Sarning

Morten Kaufmann
Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Thomas Vinterberg

$3.45 million

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