A Hijacking impresses at Venice and Toronto

FESTIVAL REVIEWS. After its world premiere at Venice Film Festival, critics call "A Hijacking" "one of the very best pictures of the whole festival” and director Tobias Lindholm "Denmark's hottest new writer-director". The film just enjoyed its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Pilou Asbæk in "A Hijacking". Photo: Magnus Nordenhof Jønck

Tobias Lindholm, writer of "Borgen", "Submarino" and "The Hunt", has made his solo debut as a director with the hostage drama "A Hijacking". The film had its world premiere at Venice Film Festival and is currently on show at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema section. Critics are thoroughly impressed.

"A high-seas hostage-taking and resulting negotiations are absorbingly dramatized in this low-key Venice standout from Denmark's hottest new writer-director. ... A tensely economical study of leadership, teamwork and negotiation in high-pressure crisis situations," writes Hollywood Reporter's Neil Young. Read review

"Hostage thrillers are all-too-often shrill affairs, with clock-watching screenwriters wringing maximum melodrama from spiraling disorder. Not so Tobias Lindholm's superb 'A Hijacking', which actually grows more chillingly subdued as its nightmare scenario unfolds," writes Variety's Guy Lodge. Read review

"A masterful exercise in building the tension, never resorting to quick dramatic tricks and keeping the tone appropriately serious as the clock keeps on ticking. ... The film deftly balances the twin locations of the stifling often-claustrophobic ship alongside the plus Danish offices of the shipping company," writes Mark Adams of Screen International. Read review and see also Screen's Mike Goodridge's interview with Tobias Lindholm

"The film isn’t a white knuckle ride, and the pacing can be slow at times, but this is one of those cases where that’s sort of the point, and you certainly don’t begrudge it.'A Hijacking' is an absorbing, highly moving film that's lingered heavily on the mind for a couple of days now. Greengrass must be feeling a little nervous about his film -- Lindholm has beaten him to the punch, and established himself as a huge talent to keep an eye on in the future in the process," writes Indiewire's Oliver Lyttelton. Read review

Furthermore, Lyttelton concludes in Indiewire's Venice wrap up piece that "'A Hijacking' had sneakily become our favorite film of the festival. ... Grippingly shot, beautifully acted and enormously powerful, it was the best surprise we've had all year."

"A Hijacking" is produced by René Ezra and Tomas Radoor for Nordisk Film with support from the Danish Film Institute.

Sales company TrustNordisk reports that "A Hijacking" has been sold to Benelux (A-film) and Korea (Atnine Film), and there are ongoing negotiations in a number of territories.

TIFF screening schedule