After the Wedding
A Danish aid worker in India (Mads Mikkelsen) returns to Denmark to accept a donation from a tycoon (Rolf Lassgård); to his amazement, he learns that the man’s wife (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is his ex-lover, and their newlywed daughter (Stine Fischer Christensen) appears to be his own biological child. What might have been a mawkish weepy melodrama becomes, in the hands of director Susanne Bier and co-writer Anders Thomas Jensen, something both simpler and more complex. Bier gets subtle performances from all (they have to be subtle, with the camera often painfully close), and the movie has the stark, unvarnished resonance of raw truth captured by an unblinking camera. It’s that rare thing, a film of conflict without villains, about people who are just what they seem, yet are somehow full of surprises.