After the Wedding
Autumn 2007 Edge series
Sunday, September 30, 2007 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 30, 2007 at 7:00pm
Directed by Susanne Bier
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgård, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Stine Fischer Christensen, Christian Tafdrup, Frederik Gullits Ernst, Kristian Gullits Ernst, and Ida Dwinger
Rated NR ·
Danish, Swedish, Hindi, and English
A sweeping and gut-wrenching drama, After the Wedding is beautifully realized by Susanne Bier, one of Denmark’s foremost filmmakers, and written by another, Anders Thomas Jensen. Having premiered her last two films, Open Hearts and Brothers, the Toronto International Film Festival was privileged to present Bier’s latest work, yet another masterful exploration of the muddy moral ground between good intentions and human failings.
Transplanted Dane Jacob Peterson (Mads Mikkelsen, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, Casino Royale) runs a struggling orphanage in one of India’s poorest regions. Jacob considers all Westerners criminally spoiled, so it’s with great reluctance that he returns to Denmark to meet with a wealthy entrepreneur who may be willing to save their orphanage. Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, savvy businessman Jørgen (Rolf Lassgård) lives a near-idyllic life with his wife Helena (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and their children. After cancelling the meeting Jacob has travelled so far to attend, Jørgen insists they discuss things at his daughter Anna’s (Stine Fischer Christensen) wedding the next day. This sparks a chain of events that changes all their lives forever. As layers of deceit are exposed and histories drawn out, we ponder who actually has everyone’s best interests in mind: the stubborn millionaire determined to put his family first, or the guilt-ridden altruist who has heaped so much importance on what he considers the general good.
Driven by extraordinary performances and Bier’s skilled direction, After the Wedding demands that viewers confront one of the crucial dilemmas of contemporary times. As the world grows smaller, the gap between rich and poor widens and our lives become more intertwined — regardless of where we live — the possibility of balancing personal and social responsibilities becomes more remote, while the need to do so becomes increasingly urgent. One of the most emotionally devastating films of the year, After the Wedding is also one of the most important.