Sidse Babett Knudsen
It’s definitely a performance driven film as well, with the initial situation set up fairly quickly, leaving the rest of the movie for the characters to react and adapt. Mads Mikkelsen, best known for swinging damage upon Daniel Craig’s nuts in CASINO ROYALE, shows a much different side in WEDDING. He has the same quiet intensity as displayed with Le Chiffre, but more reserved. It’s easy to see how driven the character is given the situation, but he’s not so daunting that you fear for the children’s safety. However, Mikkelsen gets acted around in circles by Rolf Lassgard, who turns in a powerhouse performance. His final scene in the film is so good it’s hard to watch.
The story (and Jacob’s big secret) isn’t exactly new to cinema, but the circumstances and the characters keep it interesting. I really enjoyed that the film wasn’t populated by clear cut good guys and bad guys, but very real characters. Everyone exists in a refreshing gray area; people may act frustrating or deceptive, but they feel honest and for the most part remain likable. Director Susanne Bier does a good job with the visuals, with effective attention to close-ups, body language and some interesting animal imagery.
It’s not a perfect movie, perhaps not as gripping as it could’ve been. Intriguing, yes, but I don’t think it’ll be added to any all-time favorite lists. However, if there was an award for Best Use of The Band Sigur Rós, AFTER THE WEDDING would definitely win (or at least fight it out with Cameron Crowe).
Deleted Scenes: About twenty minutes worth of excised footage, with an introduction by the director. Mostly just small character moments that don’t make or break the film.
Extra Tidbit: AFTER THE WEDDING should’ve lost its Best Foreign Film Oscar to PAN’S LABYRINTH, not THE LIVES OF OTHERS. (No, I’m not bitter…why do you ask?)