An emotional and intensely focused lead performance from Trine Dyrholm carries this new movie from Danish director and Dogme 95 veteran Thomas Vinterberg, shot on HD digital video. The setting is an emotionally fraught commune – what other kind is there? – in 1970s Copenhagen; Dyrholm is Anna, a local television newsreader, married to rumpled and sexy university lecturer Erik, played by Ulrich Thomsen; they have a shy and intelligent 14-year-old daughter, Freja (Martha Sofie Wallstrom Hansen). When Erik inherits his late father’s gigantic family home, Anna suggests they invite various friends and professional acquaintances to move in with them, and so stave off middle-aged, middle-class ennui with a daring experiment in collective living and a stimulating atmosphere of group creativity. But having set off down this bold new route of caring and sharing, Anna is unsure how to react when there is a crisis in her own relationship. Is she allowed ownership of her feelings – and indeed her husband – or not? Without Dyrholm, The Commune might have just been a breezily watchable, if tonally uncertain soapy melodrama, something to make British audiences in Berlin feel nostalgic for the steamy attractions of TV’s Bouquet of Barbed Wire. And… Read full this story
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