After the Wedding
“You can’t just run our lives in your sick head.”
It’s clear from our two films in our current series that Susanne Bier enjoys films with complex characters dealing with complex situations. Open Hearts had two families whose lives are upturned after a car accident affects both of them. In After the Wedding, it’s a revealing toast at the wedding that turns lives upside down and forces several people to reevaluate their connections to each other. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Mads & Susanne series with her 2006 film After the Wedding.
We have a lot of thoughts about After the Wedding.
This is a film dealing in a mess of a situation but somehow avoids melodramatic, false emotions. Crafting a story like that isn’t easy, but Bier manages it and delivers a powerful film here. The performances of Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Rolf Lassgård, and Stine Fischer Christensen are spot-on perfect, but it’s the script and direction that keeps the story believable.
And that’s with a story that has several large reveals that in any other film would be signs of it being over-the-top. But not here. Bier allows the characters to learn the information then react to it as people would. It’s powerful how effective it is. It feels as if Bier learned a lot about connecting to her characters with her work in the Dogme 95 style, and even though she’s not operating under their rules here, it still shows she understands the core principals of being honest.
There’s a lot to be discussed about how wealth affects and shapes Jorgen’s thinking, not to mention how he treats his family. There are also elements of altruism reflected throughout. How does that come up with the characters and their intentions?
It’s a powerful film and one we’re glad to cover on the show. So check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!
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