Director and occasional scriptwriter Susanne Bier essayed a series of helming assignments in her native Denmark during the late '90s and early 2000s, that clocked in as lucrative and popular enough to kick-start a highly respectable career for the filmmaker. Though Bier's credits officially date back to 1992, she achieved her first significant breakthrough in 1999, when she directed [[Feature~V181787~The One and Only~denenesteen]] -- a well-received romantic comedy about dating, marriage, child-rearing, and adultery. That film reportedly grossed a heftier amount than any picture in Danish history; a follow-up, the Dogme 95 drama [[Feature~V275557~Open Hearts~elskerdigforevigt]] (2002), brought Bier her first international crossover hit and paved the way for much additional success. Shot according to [[Performer~P118403~Lars von Trier~larsvontrier]]'s hyper-ascetic filmmaking rules, it told of two couples whose lives become hopelessly and tragically enmeshed following a severe automobile accident. Bier's Danish-language drama [[Feature~V314783~Brothers~brothers]] (2004) explored the feud that erupts between two siblings as impacted by the tumult of war, while [[Feature~V328519~After the Wedding~afterthewedding]] (2006) explored the moral and ethical quandaries plaguing the head of an orphanage ([[Performer~P224932~Mads Mikkelsen~madsmikkelsen]]) when he is offered a donation -- some strings attached -- by his ex-girlfriend's millionaire husband.
[[Feature~V328519~Wedding~afterthewedding]] gleaned a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Bier -- a vital touchstone, for it brought Hollywood beckoning, and in 2007 she mounted her first Tinseltown effort under the aegis of DreamWorks. The much-anticipated drama [[Feature~V349487~Things We Lost in the Fire~thingswelostinthefire]] (2007) starred [[Performer~P5863~Halle Berry~halleberry]] as a suddenly and tragically widowed housewife whose path crisscrosses with that of a lonely heroin addict ([[Performer~P18343~Benicio Del Toro~beniciodeltoro]]), who had been her husband's best friend. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi