With reports of standing ovations Tuesday evening at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto, Susanne Bier's "In a Better World" is off to a promising start here at the outset of the film's international release. The first reviews follow suit with praise of the Danish director's latest drama that brings us to a refugee camp in Africa and to everyday life in a Danish provincial town, where the lives of two families intersect.
Screen's Mike Goodridge sees the film as "another strong entry in the cannon of intense human dramas from director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen" and an excellent example of a Bier-film at its best: "Bier always presents us with the most acute, out-of-the-ordinary human dilemmas and dramatises them with such keen verite realism that the audience is immediately locked into the (melo)drama with no time for doubt or skepticism." See full review
Reelfilm.com calls the film "a dramatic masterpiece" due to the director's acute eye for "transforming each and every one of the film's central characters into fully-fleshed out, entirely compelling figures whose exploits one can't help but latch onto." See full review
"Effortless" storytelling, "gorgeous" images and an acting "beyond excellent" are some of the highlights according to film blogger Brad Brevet on Ropeofsilicon.com. Part of the film's attraction is that it gives cause for serious reflection. "On top of being emotionally ravaging, 'In a Better World' asks some fascinating questions and you can't help but wonder just what exactly you would do under similar circumstances." See full review
Sold to Sony
Competing in TIFF's prestigious Special Presentations programme, "In a Better World" gained momentum earlier this year in Cannes, where the film sold to 30 countries and was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for distribution on the North American market.
At the national boxoffice, the film is likely to become one of this year's bestselling Danish titles. After only three weeks in cinemas, the film has reached more than 200,000 tickets. Danish distributor Nordisk Film expects it to perform as well as Bier's 2004 hit "Brothers", reaching 424,000 tickets.