Borgen and Duke of Burgundy star Sidse Babett Knudsen is the imperious matriarch of a criminal empire in this fleet, brutal crime drama about bad luck and bad families from debut director Jeanette Nordahl.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
At first glance, Wildland seems to share a lot of its DNA with David Michôd’s Australian crime classic Animal Kingdom. After the death of her mother, a teenager is adopted into her estranged aunt’s family, only to discover the household, which includes three vicious sons, is at the centre of a ruthless criminal organisation. The comparisons complement Wildland, matching its dramatic intensity, morphing into a brutal, laser-focused and pulse-racing thriller.
Borgen star Sidse Babett Knudsen, as the terrifying mother superior keeping three wayward sons in check, is magnificent, as is newcomer Sandra Guldberg Kampp as 17-year-old Ida in what is sure to be a star-making turn.Throughout, Jeanette Nordahl’s direction is assured and intricate, following Ida as she struggles with conflicting feelings of moral disgust and a strange, intoxicating attraction to the darker side of the family’s existence.
The film’s fascinating exploration of the circularity of fate leads to a shocking yet satisfying conclusion that brings the film full-circle, from death to life, from bad beginnings to further misfortune. — Tom Augustine
“...like any dysfunctioning crime family, the one in Wildland is a mix of tenderness and cruelty, and Nordahl does a great job showing how Bobil [is] conflicted as both a mob boss and a mother. The presence of Ida makes that position all the more tenuous, and the clan will gradually unravel at the young girl’s hands... Nordahl [does] a good job staging the handful of action scenes with stark and brutal intensity, building toward a finale where the family’s wicked ways come back to bite them big time.” — Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter