Druk [Another Round] (2020)

Druk
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writer: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe, Maria Bonnevie, Helene Reingaard Neumann
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 23.10.2020

Plot:
Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) and Peter (Lars Ranthe) are all middle-aged teachers and kind of stuck in their daily routine. You might even say that they are in a rut. After spending a night partying and losing all control, they decide that they want to test a theory that human beings were just born with too little alcohol in their blood – and if everybody maintained a constant level of drunkenness, live quality would improve considerably. The theory seems to work in practice as well – at least at first.

I expected Druk to be much more depressing than it was. But there is a certain levity to it, all the while being a very critical look at the ways alcohol and masculinity intertwine. I really liked it.

The film poster showing Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) running through a champagne shower, the background completely blurry.
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At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

At Eternity’s Gate
Director: Julian Schnabel
Writer: Jean-Claude Carrière, Julian Schnabel, Louise Kugelberg
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Niels Arestrup, Anne Consigny, Amira Casar
Seen on: 21.5.2019

Plot:
Vincent van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) spends most of his time in Arles, painting in a rather fragile state of mind. His brother Theo (Rupert Friend) is his one great supporter. When news reaches Theo that Vincent isn’t doing so well, he convinces Vincent’s friend Paul Gauguin (Oscar Issac) to travel to Arles. But what ails Vincent is not so simply dealt with.

At Eternity’s Gate is one hell of a boring film with irritating cinematography. Despite the amazing cast, I just couldn’t get into it at all.

The film poster showing Vincent van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) with a bandaged ear in front of a yellow wall.
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Arctic (2018)

Arctic
Director: Joe Penna
Writer: Joe Penna, Ryan Morrison
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smáradóttir, Tintrinai Thikhasuk
Part of: /slash Filmfestival 1/2
Seen on: 3.5.2019
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Plot:
Overgård’s (Mads Mikkelsen) plane went down in the Arctic circle months ago and he has found a way to survive, has established a routine for his survival, always in the hope that he will be found and rescued. When a helicopter appears, he believes that his day has finally come. But instead, the helicopter crashes, too. Inside is a lone survivor (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir) who is gravely injured. For her sake and his own Overgård has to decide now whether he can continue to stay put, or whether he should take the risk of walking towards help.

Arctic is a strong film that really draws you in – so much so that I got really cold watching it. Unfortunately, the gender dynamics are a little disappointing, but other than that it’s a strong survival film.

The film poster showing a snowy landscape from above, empty except for a broken plane and a lonely human figure walking away from it.
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Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones, Daniel Mays, Geraldine James, Warwick Davis, Michael Smiley
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 18.12.2016

Plot:
There are rumors that the Empire is building a great new weapon, called the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance has caught wind of that and hatches a plan to steal the plans for that weapon as they heard that there was a structural weakness that they may use to destroy it. They believe that Jyn (Felicity Jones) may be the key to success as her father (Mads Mikkelsen) seems to be involved with the planning. But Jyn hasn’t seen her father in 15 years and she’s also not all that interested in helping the Alliance. But they do reach a deal and Jyn finds herself accompanying pilot Cassian (Diego Luna) on the mission.

I will probably never be super excited about Star Wars – it’s just not my franchise. But I did enjoy Rogue One a whole lot, despite a couple of lengths it suffered from.

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Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Based on: the comic character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Cast: Benedict CumberbatchChiwetel EjioforRachel McAdamsBenedict WongMads MikkelsenTilda SwintonMichael StuhlbargBenjamin BrattScott Adkins, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 8.11.2016

Plot:
Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a great neurosurgeon, and he knows it. But after a car accident that leaves him severely injured, Strange loses control of his hands – a skill absolutely necessary for his delicate job. He tries everything he can to get back to his former abilities. He is so desperate that when he hears of Jonathan Pangborn’s (Benjamin Bratt) apparently miraculous recovery, he asks him for the secret to it. Pangborn tells him of an temple in Nepal where they know about magic. Strange makes his way there, hoping to regain what he lost – and more.

If you manage to disregard the blatant racism in the film and its casting (and I can understand if you can’t manage this), Doctor Strange is an entertaining film that offers a lot of fun.

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Re-Watch: Valhalla Rising (2009)

Valhalla Rising
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn, Roy Jacobsen
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Alexander MortonGary LewisJamie SivesEwan Stewart
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Around 1000 A.D., a man (Mads Mikkelsen) is enslaved by vikings for his almost supernatural fighting strength. When he is sold from one king to the next, he manages to escape [among other things because he can see the future] together with a boy (Maarten Stevenson). When they meet a group of templars, the boy and the warrior – now called One-Eye – decide to join forces with them to go to the holy land.

I saw Valhalla Rising almost five years ago and the film intrigued me. A lot. So getting another chance to see it in the cinema was quite a treat, especially since I might be even more intrigued after the second watch.

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Michael Kohlhaas (2013)

Michael Kohlhaas
Director: Arnaud des Pallières
Writer: Arnaud des Pallières, Christelle Berthevas
Based on: Heinrich von Kleist‘s novella
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Mélusine Mayance, Delphine Chuillot, David Kross, Bruno Ganz, Denis Lavant, Roxane Duran
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Michael Kohlhaas (Mads Mikkelsen) trades with horses. To reach the market he has to cross the lands of a young nobleman who doesn’t want to let him pass without a special document. Michael leaves him two horses as collateral and promises to return with it. But it turns out that there is no law that demands such a document and when Michael returns, it is to find his horses in a woeful state. He asks for justice in a legal manner, but all his requests are turned down and the repercussions are great. So he takes the law into his own hands.

Michael Kohlhaas is a slow film. Most of the time that makes it extremely atmospheric and gives the cast room to work, sometimes it means that it drags on a bit. But it is very worth watching.

michael-kohlhaas

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Die Tür [The Door] (2009)

Die Tür
Director: Anno Saul
Writer: Jan Berger
Based on: Akif Pirinçci‘s novel Die Damalstür (translated to The Back Door)
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Jesscia Schwarz, Valeria Eisenbart, Tim Seyfi, Thomas Thieme, Heike Makatsch

Plot:
David (Mads Mikkelsen) is a successful painter, has a lovely wife in Maja (Jessica Schwarz) and a cute daughter in Leonie (Valeria Eisenbart). But while Leonie is playing in the garden and Maja is out, he prefers to go and fuck the neighbor Gia (Heike Makatsch). When David returns from the most of recent of these, he finds Leonie in the pool – drowned. Five years later, his life is pretty much destroyed, Maja won’t speak to him and he’s constantly drunk. Then he stumbles on a door and when he walks through it, he finds himself back on the day the Leonie drowned – and with a chance to do things over. If only it wasn’t for his younger self…

Die Tür starts off pretty Butterfly Effect-y (including actual butterflies) and I was pretty convinced that it would go the same way. But the film does go in a completely different direction and is rather entertaining.

die-tur

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Re-Watch: Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale
Director: Martin Campbell
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Isaach de Bankolé, Jesper Christensen

Plot:
James Bond (Daniel Craig) is a special agent who just recently graduated to 00-status. And in his first mission, he has to take on Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), banker to the upper leagues of terrorism. Le Chiffre is about to play a high-stakes game of poker; and if Bond can beat him and take his money, they will have him cornered. So Bond’s boss M (Judi Dench) sends him and accountant Vesper (Eva Green) to Montenegro to win at poker.

Casino Royale is an extremely satisfying action movie that also holds up to second viewing. Daniel Craig is a cool bond and the whole thing is very entertaining.

[SPOILERS]

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Jagten [The Hunt] (2012)

Jagten
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writer: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm, Susse Wold, Anne Louise Hassing, Lars Ranthe, Alexandra Rapaport
Part of: Viennale

[TRIGGER WARNING]

Plot:
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) was recently divorced and lost his job. He is just getting his life back together, working in a kindergarden and trying to find a way to communicate with his ex for the sake of their son Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrøm). He has the support of his best friend Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen) and also finds some solace in the special friendship he shares with Theo’s daughter Klara (Annika Wedderkopp). But then another kindergarden teacher believes that Klara is accusing Lucas of abuse and that brings everything crashing down.

Jagten was a bit of a tour de force. It was amazingly fantastic but I can’t remember the last time I was so fucking tense during a movie. I can only bow down to Thomas Vinterberg and Mads Mikkelsen and then go cry in a corner.

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