Open Hearts

Director: Susanne Bier

Susanne Bier’s emotionally charged film, Open Hearts, breaks some of the rules of its Dogme 95 framework in its usage of fake blood and cinematic technique but manages to be one of the strongest works out of the Dogme movement in recent years. A young recently engaged couple suffers immense tragedy when, just before leaving for a vacation, Joachim is hit by a car. Paralyzed and angry, he bitterly lashes out in frustration at his young fiancĂ©, Cecile in the hopes of pushing her away. He succeeds and soon, Ceclie finds consolation in a handsome, older married doctor named Niels whose own wife was driving the car that crushed Joachim. As Cecile and Niels grow closer, an affair develops and the film dances on the edge of melodrama but manages to keep viewers entranced. The strongest and most complicated character, Niels, remains the most compelling, perhaps in readiness for the audience not to grow disgusted by the romance but we wish we had more of an insight into the early twenty-something Cecile, other than the fact of her circumstance and occupation as a chef. American writer director Zach Braff is basing the follow-up to his successful Garden State on Bier’s moving film.