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Review: In A Better World

PUBLISHED: 16:07 02 September 2011

In A Better World

In A Better World

Archant

It’s certainly in a better looking world. This Danish drama has some really exquisite cinematography, and not in that oppressive, lifeless, sculpted way of many supposedly beautifully shot movies.

It’s like life, just a bit better.

You can see cameraman Morton Soborg ending up in Hollywood giving a distinctive visual design to an instal-ment of whatever replaces Harry Potter and Twilight.

This comes to us with the moot recommendation of being this year’s winner of the Oscar for best foreign language movie.

Suzanne Bier’s cross-continental drama takes on some heavyweight subject – bullying and whether violent retribu-tion can ever be morally justified.

Anton (Mikael Persbarndt) is a Swedish doctor who splits his time saving lives in an African refugee camp and spending time with his estranged wife (Trine Dryholm) in Denmark and his sons, the eldest of whom Elias (Mar-kus Rygaard) is being bullied at school.

That, though, is about to change when a new boy Christian (William Johnk Nielsen) decides to take a decidedly proactive approach to bullying.

Meanwhile, over in Africa, Anton is having to weight up how to deal with a psychotic local gangster.

In a Hollywood film young Christian’s burning desire for justice, fuelled by the pain of having his mother die of cancer, might have been the springboard for a career as a caped crusader.

Here, though, he is heading inextricably to a series of moral dilemmas.

It’s an impressive film in many areas but there is something of the TV drama in the way the script laboriously goes about loading ups the scales for its issues and predicaments. In the last half hour in particular there are a number of “Casualty” moments.

IN A BETTER WORLD (12A)

Director: Suzannae Bier

Starring: Mikael Persbarndt, Trine Dryholm, William Johnk Nielsen, Markus Rygaard, Ulrich Thomsen.

Length: 119 mins

***


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