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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 January 2015
Slight spoilers

I would give After The Wedding five stars for a few scenes of great emotional power, particularly those between the daughter and her father, and her step-father. They get something that is quite rare in cinema, and while melodramatic, it does access certain truths with a sense of shock to the viewer, it is so immediate. The challenge in making it was probably how to make it hang together, which it just about does, and also how to modulate the tone, which does stay at a fairly hysterical pitch for quite a lot of the time. There is a risk of it being too much like a soap opera, which may explain the very agile camera. I didn't always like this but it was more effective than in The Tree of Life. The acting is very good indeed, and Mads Mikkelsen helps to ground the film with his understated performance - he always feels as if he has something more in reserve, and his face holds the interest - and the emotion of the moment. His first meeting alone with his daughter is particularly moving in a quiet way, both actors inhabiting the emotions of their characters in a way that comes across with great subtlety. The director Susanne Bier uses a lot of close-ups in these scenes, particularly of people's eyes - it's as it she is trying to pinpoint the surface of maximum revelation of the inner being. The film is not without its moral ambiguity, specifically asking questions about how right it can be to withhold information, and to play at being God. The patriarch businessman is a rambling, powerful figure who shows bravery but also is less than perfect, perhaps, in contacting Jacob when he does. Presumably he could have made more of an effort before, but chose not to ... There is something egotistical about this, but it also makes his altruism moving in the present, if a bit double-edged, because he is exercising the control he always has. It is a kind of psychological wrestling with Jacob, although he is a somewhat tarnished angel. This aspect of the film could have done with sharper focus, where instead there is a welter of emotion.
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on 26 April 2017
Wondrous!! Totally involving, & yet incredibly stylish, from the superb acting (quite unbelievably intimate at times) to the beautiful settings, to the brilliant camerawork: I also loved the soundtrack -- unobtrusive at times, full on at others.
I'm so glad I came across this movie, after watching 'A Royal Affair' -- I wanted to see more of Danish Cinema, there is something about Scandinavian light, it has such softness & clarity:
I really enjoyed this movie, & I'd recommend it to anyone
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on 22 May 2017
Interesting.
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I'm being spoiled. First I see the beautiful, mature and delightful Mira Nair film "The Namesake" (in my top twenty with a bullet) - and now this peach! What's going on!!

"After The Wedding" has a central performance from Mads Mikkelsen (the facially scared card-playing La Chiffre in the superb "Casino Royale") that is both riveting and Oscar worthy. He's the kind of actor who can just stand there and whole worlds are expressed in his strangely compelling face - an instrument I'm sure the director knew would have us hooked right from the get go. When Mads smiles, you smile, when he hurts - you hurt. When he's on screen, he's riveting, like say Gary Oldman is. And I can imagine, many women wouldn't mind looking at him either - long after the two hours of this is up!

It's foreign language (dubbed) and opens with Mads (Jakob) in an Indian orphanage where he is distributing food from a truck, giving lessons in English in a shed of a building and generally holding it all together. But as always - lack of funds threathen imminent closure and the destitute children will be evicted out onto the harsh streets. He gets a phonecall from Denmark from Jorgen (Rolf Lassgard playing a millionaire businessman) with an offer of untold millions that will keep his orphanage open and indeed even help others. He seems reluctant to go and get this gift horse, but he has to. Jakob promises the adoring children that he'll be back within a week and he won't let them down. But things change when he gets there.

Forced to socialise with the man who holds the all-important purse strings, he attends the well-heeled society wedding of Anna (Jorgen's daughter) and to his astonishment, Jakob recognises Jorgen's wife - and she him - there's been history between them. Without giving too much plot away - Jakob makes a staggering and life-changing discovery and also, slowly but surely, begins to understand Jorgen's interest in wanting him back in Denmark.

This is about family, loved ones, the preciousness of our kids, betrayal, bad mistakes made in the past, another chance given to redeem them now - all the best stuff - and although some of the performances are at times slightly 'over-the-top' - the movie has heart - and you root for these people all the way to the end.

The cast is uniformly excellent - especially Mikkelson and Lassgard - who's rivalry and shared loves are beautifully and realistically handled. There were many scenes where tears willingly plopped out of my weary goggleboxes. And there's superb complimentary music too.

I loved this film - I really did. And I hope it will get the vast audience it deserves. Put it high on your rental lists.
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I may be getting too sentimental in my old age but this film was so touching that I actually cried through quite a bit of it. What I found so touching was how essentially good almost all the characters were.

The central character Jacob Pederson (Mads Mikkelsen) despite a nearly constant scowl on his face or a look of deep concern and perhaps worry is a man who really cares about right and wrong and other people. This is a sharp change from his misspent youth when all he cared about were...well what many of us cared about, having a good time. Now he runs an orphanage in Mumbai.

While Jacob is the central character the most interesting character and the one with the biggest heart is the very rich Jorgen Lennart Hannson (Rolf Lassgard). Jacob has gone to Denmark to convince Jorgen to support his orphanage. It isn't clear that Jorgen will do so. He has choices for charity. But when Jorgen invites Jacob to his daughter's elaborate wedding, things change.

I won't say any more about the plot since it is such an interesting and surprising plot. What I will say is that when Jorgen learns who Jacob really is in relationship to his family (and vice-versa!) he does something so caring, so surprising and so correct and so magnanimous that it will warm the cockles of the coldest heart and bring to tears the most cynical of viewers.

And then we are back to Jacob and how he deals with what Jorgen has concocted. And he too does the right thing even though it completely changes his life and costs him something dear to his heart..

I wish I could be more concrete. But see the film and I think you'll agree that this is the kind of movie that will make you feel good about people. It's a shame that it's rated "R." Perhaps if you have a tweener or even a bright 10-year-old you can watch it together. And you can talk about it. It is a great relationship film, and a great film for teaching young people about the real choices in life that can come up

The acting was excellent. Mikkelsen brought the strength of character and a justified pride to the role of Jacob while Lassgard was warm and real and smart as Jorgen. Both Sidse Babett Knudsen, who played Jorgen's wife, and Stine Fischer Christensen, who played the bride, were intense and so vivid I felt I could touch them. (The intense close-ups on the eyes and faces--and I mean intense--made the actors almost leap off the screen.) But most of my praise must go to Susanne Bier who wrote the story and directed and to Anders Thomas Jensen who wrote the screenplay. The story and the movie are simply brilliant.

--Dennis Littrell, author of the movie review collection, "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!"
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VINE VOICEon 11 March 2008
By reading the blurb on the back of the dvd one would be forgiven for finding the storyline completely uninspiring with huge potential for gross mellodrama. Fortunately Sussanne Bier has this incredible talent as a director to get the very very best from her actors which raise this film way above my initial expectations.
The story is of Jacob a manager of an orphanage in India who is sent to Copenhagen to get funding. Once there his past comes back to haunt him, to say anymore would be to give most of the suprises away which would be a shame as this is definately a film that benefits from knowing absolutely nothing about it.
Fabulous performances from the four main actors especially Mads Mikkelsen as Jacob and Stine Fischer Christensen as the Bride. What really impresses about this film is the direction which is absolutely perfect, filmed in a style that makes it feel very real. On more than one occasion I forgot I was watching a film with actors, this was mostly prevolent in one particularly memorable scene involving the mother and father of the bride where the father has recieved some bad news and is telling his wife. Filmed in their bedroom this felt more real than many reality tv shows.
To conclude this is World cinema at its brutal best involving some brilliant naturalistic performances, directed with aplomb by Bier. Superb.
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on 6 December 2007
It has been a long time since I was scared of writing a review, but this is one of those cases. This film is extraordinary, and therefore, I fear not being able to convey the extent of its qualities. Having said that, this is not a movie for everyone, since it develops at a slow pace and, in the typical fashion of Scandinavian movies, spends quite a bit of time contemplating the faces of the actors, in order to allow the viewer to understand their emotions. However, unless the pace is something that really bothers you, this is a movie that you cannot afford to miss.

Jacob is working in India helping homeless children, and in an effort to secure funds for his quest, sees himself forced to travel back home, to Denmark, to meet with the CEO of an important corporation. Upon his arrival, he meets this affable family man, Jorgen, who promptly asks him to stay over the weekend and attend his daughter's wedding. When Jacob sees Jorgen's wife, he realizes that he already knows her, and when a speech by the bride reveals unsettling information, things get complicated really fast. After that, emotions rise to the surface and we witness one of the most beautiful and moving stories I have seen in a long time.

This film not only has a wonderful plot as a backbone, but also counts with an astounding cast, all of whom play their roles to perfection, and excellent cinematography. The use of the cameras, especially with close-ups of the eyes when emotional scenes are developing, works perfectly. As if this was not enough, the little I know about Scandinavian culture was proficiently presented. I attended a friend's wedding in Sweden earlier this year and I was amazed at how similar this was to what they showed in the movie. I have always been a fan of Scandinavian productions, but this film is at a higher level than most. Simply brilliant!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 May 2008
This is one of those slow-burning films that start by introducing all the characters in their different lives. Then they are brought together and gradually, through subtle images of body language and shots of glances between people, one begins to realize that there is a back-story and the emotional fire-works start to erupt. It's a multi-layered story in which the ramifications of a previous relationship interact with an emerging family trauma. It's not just a film about human relationships but also has a social conscience dimension contrasting life in an orphanage in India with that of a wealthy family in Denmark. Altogether a very moving and thought-provoking film with fine performances all round.
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'After The Wedding' is a wonderful Danish film. It gives us a range of emotions, and the acting is superb.

Jacob, played by Mads Mikkelsen, manages an orphanage in India. He and his group are looking for funding to keep the orphanage afloat. He gets word that a man with influence and money wants to see him before he will give money to the orphanage. Jacob reluctantly returns to Denmark. Here he meets Jergen, played by Rolf Lasagard, who wants to be his benefactor. This man has power, too much money and Jacob is not impressed. It appears that Jergen wants to think about the funding over the weekend, in the meantime, he invites Jacob to his daughter's wedding. This is where the film takes off. At the church Jacob recognizes Jergen's wife, Helena. Helena, played by Sidse Babett Knudsen, is shocked to see Jacob- we understand right away that they had a relationship. During the wedding and reception, we come to also understand that Jacob is probably the father of the bride. This is quite a soap opera. However, this is only the beginning. Jergen has plans, and as the film evolves we see that instead of the ogre, he may have planned something. He is not thhe uncaring man, he seems to be. Jergen has a scene that is masterful and one of the best I have seen.

'After The Wedding' shows us what sacrifice is all about. Jacob for his orphans and Jergen for his family. This is a film that shows the difference between classes and the goodness in people. The acting by all is admirable. Afterall, we are told tht charity begins at home.

Recommended. prisrob 05-22-13
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on 5 May 2008
This film is one of the best I have watched in a long time - quite breathtakingly good. Set In Denmark, and Bombay, it follows the story of Jacob who is asked to visit a rich businessman in Copenhagen, in order to encourage him to support the orphanage he helps run, and who is by chance, as he has nothing to do for the weekend, invited to the wedding of the duaghter of the businessman. What follows is jaw dropping and moving and, well, just tremendous. Every role is beautifully acted. Not a wrong note anywhere.

Buy this film - you will want to watch it more than once. The 'extras' are excellent too, including two interviews with Suzanne Bier.
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