Vinterberg's follow-up to Festen is a thrillingly dreamy sci-fi allegory set in 2021. John (Phoenix) stops off in New York to see that Elena (Danes) signs her divorce papers. She's distant and strangely agitated, despite (or because of) an entourage of managers, publicists, assistants and bodyguards, all dedicated to the safekeeping of the world's premier ice skater. Persuaded to stay another day, John glimpses his wife's doppelgänger - or thinks he does - then steals away with the real thing (or is she?). The future according to Vinterberg looks suspiciously familiar: big business is taking care of itself, even as the ecology fluctuates between heatwaves and snowstorms; people are dropping dead from heart neglect; and the Ugandans are floating off into the stratosphere. It's a film of mysterious discontinuities, Lynchian in its jet lag disruptions of time and space; a New World Disorder conspiracy thriller reminiscent of Wenders' Until the End of the World in scope and The Manchurian Candidate in its lunatic conviction. It's also, clearly, the work of a film-maker confronting all manner of new horizons. Sean Penn plays Vinterberg, in effect, taking notes from on high as he circumnavigates the globe in a plane that can't land. Superbly photographed, with pitch-perfect supporting performances, it's an all-or-nothing affair. Naive, preposterous, spellbinding and strange, this audacious folly braves ridicule. But if you get it, you might just love it.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov|
Thomas Bo Larsen
Thomas Bo Larson