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4.4 out of 5 stars35
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 15 December 2005
After recently seeing this on sky as I was flipping through the channels, I was left with a great sense of appreciation of films of this kind. The storyline is pure and real, the characters believeable and the acting exceptional. It's one of those real to life movies, not overdone or exagerrated, just a heartfelt story portrayed in an honest and relateable way. I would reccommend this to anyone who enjoys romance films, not to say that this follows the usual streotype. It's far deeper and thoughtprovoking than your average romance and overall is definately a must see.
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A film driven by human experience rather than character or story, which nevertheless stands out by creating characters that invite near universal empathy. We feel and care for all of them as they come to terms with the kind of tragedy that everyone knows could be just around the corner.
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on 19 December 2003
Open Hearts is a beautiful film about the power of love. Sounds cheesy, but it's certainly not. It shuns the soppy, unoriginal scripts that most Romantic dramas adhere to and what emerges is a true tour de force. A Romantic drama that is altogether compelling yet almost embarrasing to watch as it almost feels too real. The film centers around the outcome of a tragic meeting between a married doctor and the girlfriend of a paraplegic patient being treated at his hospital. I was totally gripped by the plot and can't recommend it highly enough.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2008
A beautiful film in which everyone loses something. A tragic accident is the catalyst for this drama/love story which is both touching and sad. Some fantastic acting from all the main cast and this is just another example of Danish cinema. I can't give the film enough praise and it's best that you go enjoy it for yourselves. All the other reviews here cover all the positive points quite well.
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on 8 September 2011
Extraordinary drama this. All the better for the stringent adherence to DOGME. Suzanne Bier is a wonderful director (her film in a better world won the best foreign film oscar) (and her film Brothers had a Hollywood remake). This was made in 2002. She's worked with the demon Lars Von Trier. Her ability is to get her actors to tell the story with economy and believable structure of feeling. I think Scandinavian Cinema generally is getting the attention it deserves. The stories, technique and beauty has usurped the rather crass US cinema. The only problem is we have crass distribution that panders to them. But perhaps that'll change. Must say that the screenplay by Anders Thomas Jensen is taut. Biers has still a good relationship with him and you can see why. Film students will learn much from this film.
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on 7 May 2009
I watched this film this morning after having it sit in my dvd collection for several months. I'm so sorry that i didn't view it sooner. It was incredibly moving without being mawkish, and realistically depicted how seemingly good relationships can fall apart through changed circumstances. All the leads were excellent and the 'affair' was handled very well and didn't make villains of anybody. Highly recommended.
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on 12 September 2013
Danish screenwriter, producer and director Susanne Bier`s seventh feature film which was written by Danish screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen, is based on an idea by Susanne Bier. It premiered at the 30th Norwegian International Film Festival Haugesund in 2002, was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 27th Toronto International Film Festival in 2002, in the Official Selection section at the 50th San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2002, was shot on location in Denmark and is a Danish production which was produced by Danish producer Vibeke Windeløv. It tells the story about a geography student named Joachim whom is going on a mountain climbing trip to Patagonia, South America and who on the day after having proposed to his 25-year-old girlfriend named Cæcilie who is a chef, is hit by a car and hospitalized. Whilst Cæcilie is waiting to see Joachim at the hospital, she is introduced to a doctor named Niels who lives in Copenhagen, Denmark with his wife named Marie and their 6-year-old son named Emil, 8-year-old son named Gustav and 14-year-old daughter named Stine who is in high school and who is having a fall out with her best friend regarding her boyfriend. Niels tells Cæcilie who he is and after talking with Marie who feels responsible for what has happened to Joachim, he begins spending time with Cæcilie.

Distinctly and subtly directed by Nordic filmmaker Susanne Bier, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, draws a profoundly heartrending portrayal of a Danish woman who goes out of her way to get her boyfriend to love her like he did before his accident, a Danish father and husband who instigated by his and his wife`s consciousness makes himself available for her and a concerned daughter`s relationship with her father. While notable for its distinct and naturalistic milieu depictions and fine cinematography by Danish cinematographer Morten Søborg, this dialog-driven and narrative-driven story about fate`s intervention in the lives of ordinary people where a coincidental accident brings people together, separates them and affects each and every one of them and where human compassion leads to love and sorrow, depicts four humane and interrelated studies of character and contains a great and timely score by composer Jesper Winge Leisner.

This sociological, at times humerous and utterly gripping drama from the early 2000s which is set in the capital city of Denmark in the early 21st century and where a daughter wonders why her father can buy a woman he has just met lots of furniture when he can`t even buy her a dress, and a charming and lively man becomes an unrecognizable person after being paralysed from his neck and down, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, natural and endearing characters, intimate realism, distinguishable depiction of interpersonal relations and the graciously heartfelt acting performances by Danish actors Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Danish actresses Sonja Richter, Paprika Steen and Stine Bjerregaard in her debut feature film role. An acutely and gracefully romantic character piece which gained, among other awards, the Bodil Award for Best Danish Film at the 56th Bodil Awards in 2002.
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2010
'Open Hearts' is another successful addition to the Dogme 95 stable of films. The plot is nothing new, similar to Lars von Triers' 'Breaking The Waves' - although not as downbeat - but the performances lift this film into a five star rating.

As is usual with films made following the Dogme 95 manifesto it has the feel of a documentary about it (due to the use of hand held cameras - so no widescreen), and you really get to feel you are following real people and their lives through tragedy and love.

The plot concerns the effect a road accident has on the five main characters - a doctor, his wife and eldest daughter and two young lovers - and how their relationships develop and change throughout the movie.

If you've seen the other Dogme 95 movies - 'Festen', 'The Idiots' and 'Italian for Beginners' - then I would reccomend havng a look at 'Open Hearts'. If you haven't seen any Dogme 95 films then start with this one and move onto 'Italian for Beginners' before tackling 'Festen' and 'The Idiots'.
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on 24 January 2014
I loved the film long before I bought the DVD. If I should summarize it in a single sentence, I'd say it's an astonishing portrayal of pain and suffering in a movie with no antagonist.

I knew that the film is brilliant. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised to realize that someone actually put an effort into making a well-packed DVD. The amount of extra features is quite amazing; especially if you take into an account that this is not a Hollywood blockbuster, which could afford to have a huge PR department.

That being said, the DVD contains press conference from San Sebastian Film Festival (which lasts for about 25 minutes), featurette (about 10 minutes), three deleted scenes, audio commentary (by the director, producer, and actors), trailers and couple other things.

It is great to know that even years after I first saw the film, and after I fell in love with it, I can still learn something new about it.
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on 13 August 2011
I watched this DVD last night and I was in tears on a couple of occasions. It's a love story, but with a twist - when an unexpected accident happened, the fate of the characters were suddenly changed. What would they do?

The story-line is honest, convincing and believable. Great acting from the leads. It is a simple plot but utterly moving. Although it's tragic, it's also uplifting.

I would recommend this film to anyone who have an open heart. I have no doubt that you will be touched by this wonderful story.
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