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The Commune

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A couple start a commune in 1970s Denmark, but find their own marriage crmubling

Adapting his own highly regarded stage play, Thomas Vinterberg (‘Festen’ and ‘The Hunt’) raids his childhood for this soapy but emotionally rewarding story of communal living in 1970s Denmark. When Erik (Ulrich Thomsen) inherits his father’s sprawling mansion, he’s all set to sell up and pocket the profit. But his wife Anna (Trine Dyrholm) has other ideas, inviting their friends and strangers into their home as an experiment in collective living. Inevitably, the hippie dream remains just out of reach: arguments flare up, affairs are rife and nobody wants to do the dishes.

The title is just a tiny bit misleading: the commune is in fact little more than a colourful backdrop to what is a fairly straightforward marriage drama, as Erik and Anna discover just how different their needs really are. Thomsen and Dyrholm end up shouldering much of the movie, while initially promising side characters recede into the background. But they’re both up to the challenge, and their awkwardly evolving relationship makes for a deeply affecting emotional core. ‘The Commune’ may veer towards sentimentality in the final act – one heavily signposted tragedy ends up feeling cheap and manipulative – but overall this is a warm, sharply characterised and absorbing melodrama.

Written by
Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 29 July 2016
  • Duration:111 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Thomas Vinterberg
  • Screenwriter:Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
  • Cast:
    • Ulrich Thomsen
    • Fares Fares
    • Trine Dyrholm
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