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A Thousand Times Good Night

This film from Norwegian photojournalist-turned-director Erik Poppe is supposedly personal, drawing heavily on experiences in his former job. So it’s odd that this tasteful, mildly diverting human interest tale feels so much like the work of another filmmaker – the Danish director Susanne Bier (‘In a Better World’), whose Nordic brand of wholemeal domestic melodrama permeates this story of a globe-trotting, risk-taking photographer (Juliette Binoche) torn between her dangerous professional impulses and her responsibilities to her justly worried, Dublin-based family.

The opening 15-minutes, following Binoche as she trails a female suicide bomber in Kabul, are tense, terse and promise an altogether tougher film. Injured in the ensuing explosion, she returns to Ireland and the stakes shift to lesser effect. She squabbles with her dreamy marine-biologist husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, sternly resilient but lustrously coiffed), attempts to re-engage with her two wary daughters and tussles with the kind of parenthood-versus-career issues that only female characters are ever forced to face in the movies. Surprises are few from here on out, but it’s as handsomely shot as any film about an ace shutterbug ought to be, and Binoche infuses familiar internal crises with palpable pain and urgency.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 2 2014
Duration: 117 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Erik Poppe
Screenwriter: Erik Poppe
Cast: Juliette Binoche
Nikolaj Coster Waldau
Maria Doyle
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