I love Danish TV dramas like Borgen, so I thought I'd give this a try. There aren't many actors in Denmark, so if you've seen the popular TV shows, you'll recognize most of the actors in this movie, including the kid from Borgen, who also plays Sidse Babett Knudson's son here.
There's just not a lot going on here. Scenes from different people's lives that are interconnected, but no real character development. The screenplay is short on dialog and the director believes you can substitute lingering closeup shots for action or dialog. It doesn't work
The shots of Copenhagen were quite pleasant, but this was a slice of not very believable life in the actor-art world of Denmark. A lot of shouting, drinking and drugs with dysfunctional marriages and (despite everything) wonderful triumphs at the theatre. Got the feeling that it has all been done before rather better and more interestingly.
A strange and charmless film that is inadvertently quite funny. Borrowing from the angst school of French sexual dramas we have six characters intertwined in an emotional crisis, most of which is totally implausible and lacking that French joie de vivre. We have the theatre director who with one look at a strange women somehow entices them into vigorous al fresco couplings, the drunk husband on a boat - keep an eye out for the changing whisky bottle labels - and the marriage guidance counsellor with problems of her own. The lovely Sidse has to put up with her philandering husband and the fact she is too fat to fit into her Ophelia dress for a production of Hamlet - a role she's too old for anyhow (and maybe too young to be Gertrude). That notwithstanding, towards the end of the film, the three female leads all seem to wear the same red dress - but never together in one scene. Was the wardrobe budget all spent!.
Just before going onto start the popular political drama Borgen: Series 1 & 2 [DVD] which would run for thirty episodes Sidse Babett Knudsen appeared in this 2009 Copenhagen-set drama Above the Street Below the Water in which she plays actress Anne who has put on a few pounds and happily living together with her partner Ask. One day Ask suggests that they both need their space and we then follow the paths of these two characters as they attempt to sort their lives out. Many familiar faces from recent Danish series seen on BBC4 appear in this film including Nicolas Bro (Thomas Buch - The Killing - Series 2 [DVD]), Anders W. Berthelsen (Robert Zeuthen - The Killing - Series 3 [DVD]), Rykke Lylloff (Lotte - Borgen II), Ellen Hillingsø (Charlotte Söringer - The Bridge - BBC Series 1 [DVD]). In Borgen Sidse's character Birgitte has two children, one of them Magnus is played by Emil Poulsen Dam. Young Emil pops up in this film as Anne's son Anton. It's likely that his appearance in this led him to playing Sidse's next character's son as well.
Directed by Charlotte Sieling who has directed episodes of all three of the above series and Unit One: Season 1 [DVD], another Danish TV series released on DVD in the UK in January 2013, Above the Street, Below the Water is a quality film. The film is mostly in Danish with one character speaking Swedish throughout and one speaking Norwegian throughout with subtitles in English for the full piece. Sadly the subtitles could have been for the UK market rather than the US as we see "Mom" appear instead of "Mum" among other minor differences.