In A Better World (2011)
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|Rating:||R (for violent and disturbing content some involving preteens, and for language)|
|Genre:||Art House & International, Drama|
|Directed By:||Susanne Bier|
|Written By:||Anders Thomas Jensen|
|In Theaters:||Apr 1, 2011 Limited|
|On DVD:||Aug 30, 2011|
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Critic Reviews for In A Better World
True, the resolutions on offer seem conventionally pat, yet the tough questions stay with you in an absorbing drama which pushes the viewer's buttons with effective intelligence.
Although this being a film by Susanne Bier, there is unfortunately a good measure of unneeded melodrama stirred in to trivialize the very important thematic concerns.
There's little flash or surprise in Bier's latest well-shot film, but plenty of substance.
A most deserving Oscar winner and a film that could provoke discussion anywhere it is shown, anywhere people of any age are being bullied
Film defies conventional expectations about biblical notions of retribution, even as it initially prepares you to accept them. A truly complex work of art.
Audience Reviews for In A Better World
A challenging meditation on how hurt-induced revenge and the intention of getting rid of a menace can overlap when someone looks for a motive to get even. It would have been much better, however, if it did not move its focus to a minor subject (in comparison) in the third act.
Two boys attempt to define masculinity in response to their respective family dramas.
This Danish film is oddly both ambitious and contained. Its plot centers around only two families, one wracked by divorce, the other by death, but as the two male children of these families mature, we see that they're struggling with deep and difficult questions. What constitutes "being a man?" What examples do fathers and mothers provide their kids? Where is the line between being a disciplinarian and being a child's friend? What are parents' roles in preventing violence? These are ambitious ethical questions the plot brings up, but as a result of the film's reach philosophically, the plot starts to suffer when each of the film's conflicts resolve too conveniently.
Overall, this is a fine, ambitious, and interesting film until its pat conclusion.
Susanne Bier is one of the greatest directors ever. Simple as that. Her films deal with issues, but always with a fresh perspective. In A Better World has a young boy called Christian who has just lost his mother, return to Denmark. He joins a new school where he soon makes friends with a boy who is being bullied. Christian allows his anger to take hold, and events soon spiral out of control. The theme of bullying may seem like something best saved for after school specials, but Bier shows bullying in all its forms, from the playground, to grown ups, to African warlords. Questioning anger, revenge, and human rights, makes this a multi-layered film which is just begging for discussion. The performances are magnificent across the board and each character has a very well structured arc. With so much going on it would be easy for the film to trip over itself, but it never does. Touching, inspirational, and quite possibly life changing. In A Better World could honestly make the world a better place.
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