Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Susanne Bier, 2004, Denmark (8.2*)
Sundance Audience Award

Brothers (aka Brødre) is another gripping and emotionally charged drama from master Danish director Susanne Bier (see After the Wedding here), winner of 13 international awards. This film deals with the effect of war on civilian life, as the film begins as one brother, Michael, a major in the army, is about to embark for duty in Afghanistan. We see a family dinner with his wife and two girls, his parents, and midway through his alcoholic brother Jannik shows up, who is an ex-convict and the black sheep of the family, who hangs in bars and shuns real jobs.

However everything changes after the brother leaves, and Jannik changes and becomes a good friend to the family, especially playful with the little girls. (Describing much more would spoil the plot, which has some turns). The stunningly beautiful Connie Nielsen (photo rt) is terrific as the wife, and won five international awards, including one as part of the winning ensemble, which is excellent overall. In a way, this is a Danish Best Years of Our Lives, updated for a modern world where small wars are fought but undeclared, raising moral issues for all concerned.

For me, not as artistic or subtle as After the Wedding, but still another worthy volume in Bier's impressive filmography as perhaps the best living female director.
Awards Page at Imdb


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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