The Hunt

Image: copyright Per Arnesen
Image: copyright Per Arnesen
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“An energised Thomas Vinterberg powers into a rural Danish community with devastating effects.” — Fionnuala Halligan, Screendaily 

Year: 2012
Country: Denmark, Sweden
Running time: 111 mins
Censor Rating: R16 - violence, sex scenes, content that may disturb

Producers: Morten Kaufmann, Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Screenplay: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Photography: Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Editors: Anna Østerud, Janus Billeskov Jansen
Production designer: Torben Stig Nielsen
Costume designer: Manon Rasmussen
Music: Nikolaj Egelund
In Danish and English, with English subtitles

With: Mads Mikkelsen (Lucas), Thomas Bo Larsen (Theo), Annika Wedderkopp (Klara), Lasse Fogelstrøm (Marcus), Susse Wold (Grethe), Anne Louise Hassing (Agnes), Lars Ranthe (Bruun), Alexandra Rapaport (Nadja)

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition) 2012

Best Actor (Mads Mikkelsen), Cannes Film Festival 2012

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen was a popular choice for Best Actor Award at Cannes in a role far removed from his villainous turn in Casino Royale. In a film widely hailed as a return to form for its director Thomas Vinterberg, he plays an innocent man demonised, in a small rural town, by a child’s false accusation.

“Mads Mikkelsen is outstanding: he is Lucas, a teacher who’s having to work temporarily as a kindergarten assistant due to a school closure, recently divorced, but with many good friends in a close-knit community, and a cheerful participant in all the local traditions, chiefly an annual deer hunt. But things go horribly wrong for Lucas when an accusation is made against him by a child, and the situation escalates out of control…

Thomas Vinterberg really has come storming back with this new movie, easily his best since Celebration, and a reminder of his superb gift for unsettling collective drama: it is forthright, powerful, composed and directed with clarity and overwhelming force, yet capable of great subtlety and nuance. The theme is admittedly familiar, and so is the implied analysis of what is going on, and yet Vinterberg endows it with such urgency and his superbly constructed script, co-written with Tobias Lindholm, is a screenplay masterclass, completely upending your expectations as to how the climactic scene is going to play out…

Mikkelsen’s performance is entirely convincing and all too plausible; and with him at its centre, The Hunt becomes an unbearably tense drama-thriller.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian