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“The Hunt” will not get “Feelgood Movie of the Year” on the poster, that’s a fact. All other praise it will hopefully get, and well deserved it will be. Occasionally you read reviews starting with “Hardly ever do you see a film that…”, and now I realise why that is, because during and after watching “The Hunt”, I kept thinking “wow, that’s special, hardly ever have I seen a film that …”. That was brilliantly acted, even and especially in the children’s roles. That was cringe-inducingly written, merciless almost to the point where I wanted to stop watching and have three beers instead, but then, just at the right moment, provided some form of salvation, while being aware that salvation would have been hypocritical and Hollywoodical, and made that point.  That was populated with characters whose actions I could for the most part perfectly understand, while making me thoroughly despise most of them – to the effect of making the audience realise that this may very well be exactly what you would behave like yourself, in all its despicable cruelty.

The film is about a nursery teacher (probably that profession has a different name, but he was a teacher before, so anyway) who seems to be a very nice and likable person, has good friends, slightly shattered family situation, but good looks and good character. He helps where he can and he is very good in dealing with the sometimes complicated and twisted minds of the children he is taking care of.

There is no point in trying to identify a reason why it all goes wrong, the film is exactly about there being no reason at all, and nothing he could do about it. But things do get wrong, his reputation and his life is at stake, and he does not have any means for doing anything about it. His co-star, the maybe 5-year-old Klara, is fascinating to watch in her role of being hurt and insulted, being used to grown-ups being right and having answers. She is confused and also at some point utterly helpless against the avalanche she has kicked to roll downhill. It is utterly heartbreaking to see her trying to understand her own guilt and trying to utilize the limited possibilities that she has to fix it all, only to realise that some things have their own dynamics, a terrifying way of being unstoppable.

Not the feelgood movie of the year, but the movie of the year? Mine so far!

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_hunt_2013/

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2 Comments

  1. I agree that the actions of the community are perfectly understandable. This type of situation definitely brings out the worst in people, and I think what makes it so powerful is it could happen in real life. This director is very hit or miss, but if you haven’t already, check out The Celebration (1998), which is also very memorable.

    • The Celebration is fantastic, Vinterberg as a director is just my kind of guy: very little mercy with the audience when it comes to shoving some painful truths into their faces!


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  1. […] time pull off this performance and his even more terrific part as suffering next-door neighbour in “Jagten”. He is one of the great actors of our […]

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