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Minor Mishaps

John is a hospital porter nearing retirement, whose wife dies in a road accident. His grown children are Tom, a building contractor; Eva, who is dabbling in art and living with a lesbian; and Marianne, who has the flat adjacent to her parents', specialises in Home Ec, and reads the personals. Marianne immediately takes over her mother's responsibilities, cooking and caring for dad, while her siblings are busy with their own lives. Enter John's brother Søren, whose wife has just told him that she's in love with someone else. This is not a Dogme film as such, but it does have a kinship with the likes of Festen and Italian for Beginners. Director Olesen developed the script through improvisation with her cast, and it shows. On the one hand, the characterisation is quirky, caricature mitigated by emotional nuance, and on the other hand, the drama is shapeless and untidy. The film raises the spectre of incest and boldly leaves it hanging there, an ambiguous smell the family prefers to ignore. It's hard to tell whether this enigma is more than a ploy for attention, but it's the most memorable aspect of a movie that never surpasses the sum of its parts.

Release details

Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Annette K Olesen
Screenwriter: Kim Fupz Aakeson
Cast: Jørgen Kill
Maria Würgler Rich
Henrik Prip
Jesper Christensen
Jannie Faurschou
Vigga Bro
Karen-Lise Mynster
Julie Wieth
Petrine Agger
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