Director: Susanne Bier
In this strong Danish film, winner of the 2005 Audience Award from the Sundance Film Festival, Michael, an army officer and happily married father of two, sets off for Afghanistan for a peace-keeping mission and after a horrendous helicopter explosion is presumed dead. Sarah, his wife, grieves along with the rest of the family including her ne'er do well brother-in-law, Jannik, recently released from prison after serving time for assaulting a woman. Jannik begins to mature past his rebellious ways of drinking and bar fights to assist his brother's wife and mutual feelings begin to develop. While at first, I was annoyed that this was another "good girl wants the bad boy" movie, the acting is all top notch, the writing intelligent and the audience never feels like they are watching a soap-opera-- possibly credit is due to the director’s conscience effort to remain stark, truthful and nearly documentary-style in approach, like her Dogme 95 film movement roots... until a slightly "Othello"- like moment near the end makes the film crash into the realm of melodrama for a lengthy confrontational scene that would work better onstage.