The Art of Crying (Kunsten at græde i kor) (2006)

The Art of Crying (Kunsten at græde i kor)

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Movie Info

An 11-year-old boy who is desperate to maintain peace in his explosive homestead and prevent the family business from being stolen out from under his father's nose blithely commits a series of atrocious acts in director Peter Schønau Fog's dark family drama. Allan's father is a psychotic milkman. When the intrusion of a rival family threatens to deepen Allan's already fathomless woes by plunging his family into financial destitution, the disturbed youngster resorts to morally reprehensible … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
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Critic Reviews for The Art of Crying (Kunsten at græde i kor)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

This slice of Nordic doom and gloom envelops the gruesome behavior of its subjects in a jaunty charm.

November 28, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Refreshingly unconventional pic tackles its taboos with compassion, grace and wit.

Full Review… | October 6, 2006
Variety
Top Critic

Helmer Fog tries to treat his dysfunctional family saga, about incest and child abuse, in darkly humorous way like Solondz' Happiness, but the dry humor may not translate and viewers may see Denmark's Oscar entry as more depressing than enlightening.

Full Review… | January 10, 2008
EmanuelLevy.Com

... Fog and cinematographer Harald Gunnar Paalgard show just enough of these incestuous moments to spark outrage, but never sink to cheap sensationalism ...

Full Review… | January 10, 2008

Peter Schønau Fog's Danish hot-potato The Art of Crying is a failure, mostly for its desperate sense of trying.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Slant Magazine

...most viewers will be left furiously scratching their heads.

Full Review… | September 10, 2006
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Art of Crying (Kunsten at græde i kor)

½

I saw this at its world premiere last year! I'm not quite sure what to think of this movie, though - it portrays a very disturbing view of mental and physical abuse and manipulation in a small-town Danish family, with a chillingly convincing performance from the film's young star.

The story is an even sicker twist of the family abuse saga theme, with young Allan responding to his father's suicidal tendencies and manic depressiveness in a horrific way. I'm not sure who's more twisted in the end, and I felt a quiet horror watching the descent of this family.

Here's my original review on IMDB: I had the privilege of watching this at its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Fest, and it's always great to discover new talent. Here, it's not just the discovery of Peter Schonau Fog, but also of the tremendous cast, especially young Jannik Lorenzen, who plays 11-year-old Allan to perfection with his cheeky bewilderment, and eventually with a heavy disappointment that accompanies his loss of innocence. The film reminds me of Schlondorff's The Tin Drum with its rather disturbing, yet comical theme of children growing up entirely too quickly, although The Art of Crying is, in my opinion, far more beautifully poignant as it is told through Allan's eyes.

Henry (Jesper Asholt) is a milkman whose nightly suicide attempts and constant hysterics have driven his wife to taking sleeping pills every night to avoid him, and his son to university out of their sleepy rural village in Denmark. Henry's young son Allan (Lorenzen) adores him, and begins performing a series of bizarre acts in order to win his father's happiness, seeing nothing wrong with his father's manipulative actions and dysfunctional family dynamics.

I enjoyed this portrayal of the tension between the rural and the urban, seen in Henry's interactions with his educated son Asger, his daughter Sanne's boyfriend the "moped rowdy" Per, and his neighbour the Buddes, who have introduced self-service at their rival grocery store. It's a compelling tale, grippingly suspenseful as you wait to see what Henry and Allan will do next, yet disturbingly funny as you watch Allan delight in the most unpleasant things (just as long as they make Henry happy). Strong performances all around, and a neat debut for Schonau Fog!

falcons84
Krystle Chow

Super Reviewer

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