Rated: R for sexual content including a graphic image, violence and language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: July 12, 2013 Released by: Magnolia Pictures
Mads Mikkelsen of NBC's Hannibal and A Royal Affair headlines this taut, rather efficient Danish import that works off confusion and untruth on a smaller scale than the poignant, memorable Atonement.
The Hunt feature the once 007 antagonist (with sanguine droplets from his eyes) as a divorced Kindergarten teacher Lucas a victim of five-year-old Klara (perhaps because of more than a glimpse of her brother's iPad), a quite good Annika Wedderkopp. Klara revelation to a day-care mistress (Susse Wold) about the man already in personal turmoil making her unhappy gets him fired, at the behest of the authorities and having to deal with a group of difficult fabricating lads.
Thomas Vinterberg's compelling indictment of saying something unregretted and stupid has a way around tolerance and small-town Danish community ("it takes a village"); the random nastiness that can open Pandora's box as Lucas quickly becomes a pariah. A crisply mounted production offers many riveting interludes even if the narrative (co-opted by the helmer) might have its naysayers and inadequacies.
How Mikkelsen connects with his co-stars from English-speaking paramour Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) to those on his side like son Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrom) who lives with his mother and Marcus's godfather (Lars Ranthe) excels on many levels, whether at church on Christmas Eve or in a local supermarket. From its confrontations, The Hunt is a consistently thoughtful low-budgeter that gets the most of its cast and crew, especially Mikkelsen and Wedderkopp that gravitates to (for some) an astonishing conclusion in what resembles the William Wyler penned The Children's Hour.