Who's in It:
Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgård, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Stine Fischer Christensen, Christian Tafdrup
The Basics: Jacob (Mikkelsen) runs an orphanage in India that is about to close down, and he goes on a fundraising mission to his native Denmark. It turns out that the superrich guy who Jacob wants funding from is the husband of his old girlfriend. Meanwhile, the ex-girlfriend's grown daughter is Jacob's child she never told him about. Danish anguish ensues.
What's the Deal? There's a subplot here about an eight-year-old Indian boy that Jacob has raised from a baby, and it's more or less dispensed with once the problems of the rich, white people take center stage. Not that rich, white people aren't allowed to have problems in movies, but the whole time I kept thinking, "OK, I know that all of you are bummed out about the secrets and lies and whatever, but there's an eight-year-old orphan about to be turned out onto the street into child prostitution that everyone's sort of forgetting about here." It kept nagging at me and made me annoyed at most of the characters.
Otherwise It's a Decent Movie Really: The performances are moving, especially Lassgård as the rich patriarch who decides to play God with Jacob's life. And Mikkelsen is fascinatingly angry throughout. He is, after all, the guy who weeps blood tears in Casino Royale, so he's already earned his coolness points.
Number of Tissues You'll Need: Several, depending on how soft-hearted you are, because the continuing revelations and emotional meltdowns, plot surprises, reconciliations and partings may make you somewhat teary-eyed. Not me, mind you. I only cry at stuff like Charlotte's Web.
Disco Means Something Else to People in Denmark, I Suppose: The song "It's Raining Men" somehow appears on the soundtrack not once but twice. Now, in the United States, song would usually only wind up in something like Boat Trip and when you first hear it playing on Lassgård's car stereo, you assume he's the gay uncle coming to visit the family. Then you realize that, no, he's the dad, and he just likes the song "It's Raining Men."