In A Better World

Film, Drama
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
This year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar winner switches between war-torn Africa and bourgeois Denmark to pose telling questions about violence and responsibility. Medic Anton (Mikael Persbrandt, pictured) saves lives in a refugee camp, but a brutal warlord stymies his efforts. Should he turn the other cheek? That’s his reaction back home when menaced by a local lout, in an impeccable passive resistance lesson for his bullied teenage son Elias (Marcus Rygaard). The latter, though, is far more impressed when his classmate Christian (William Jøhnk Juel Nielsen) takes a seriously kick-ass approach to anyone giving them hassle. What price non-violence when a good thrashing gets results? Ace screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen lines up the opposing arguments in a crisp, no-nonsense manner, allowing the viewer to feel the moral dilemmas as keenly as the characters do, while director Suzanne Bier marshals the cast without a false note. True, the resolutions on offer seem conventionally pat, yet the tough questions stay with you in an absorbing drama which pushes the viewer’s buttons with effective intelligence.

By: Trevor Johnston



Release details

Release date:
Friday August 19 2011
117 mins

Cast and crew

Susanne Bier
Mikael Persbrandt
Ulrich Thomsen
Trine Dyrholm
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