Winning the foreign-language Oscar no doubt makes for a good start for Susanne Bier's "In a Better World" reaching European screens this month.
In France, where the film carries the English title "Revenge" – translated from the original Danish "Hævnen" – it was released in 25 cinemas and reaped praise by critics. Le Figaro describes Bier's drama as "a powerful interpretation of themes of revenge and forgiveness", while Le Monde calls it "remarkable" because of its "precise and dynamic orchestration". Le Premiere sums up its review with the following piece of advice: "See it before Hollywood makes a distorted remake of it!"
Wounds of our time
In Germany, where "In a Better World" opened on 17 March in 72 cinemas, several critics nod appreciatively at the film's Oscar triumph last month.
Berliner Zeitung concludes that the film is "Bier's best ever", and Stern notes that the director "deals with a difficult subject with great sensitivity and sends its audience away with the hope that everything will be OK after all".
To Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung it is clear why Susanne Bier deserves her Oscar. "The award often ends up in the wrong hands. Not this time. This film is not just a Danish story about globalization, it speaks a language everyone understands."
Süddeutsche Zeitung has an eye for Bier's special talent for "exploring the grey zones of human emotion". The critic suggests that herein lies, perhaps, the reason why the Oscar had Bier written all over it: because of the director's ability to "address the wounds of our time".
"In a Better World" came out in Italy in December where it reached 92,000 admissions. In addition to recent openings in France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Cyprus, the film is soon to be released in Hongkong, Australia, Spain and USA.
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