A gem of a black comedy, 12 September 2006
Author: seraphyna84-1 from Ottawa, Canada
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!
Riveting, if somewhat dark and disturbing movie. Incredible acting., 9 September 2006
Author: tdilkie from Canada
Watched the world premier at the Toronto Film Festival.You are drawn into this dark movie and cannot turn away. The performances by Jannik Lorenzen, Jesper Asholt and Julie Kolbeck are spellbinding. The movie is shown from the point of view of 10 year old Allan (Jannik), giving a very unique perspective on this messed up family. Director Peter Schønau Fog really pulls this together.Jannik Lorenzen is an incredible actor. This was his debut film, and I think that he's is equal most other child actors today. I really hope to see him in more films.Jesper Asholt plays a challenging role, the evil and disturbed father, with incredible conviction.The cinematography and directing are first rate, this is not a low budget or low quality film.Apparently based on the life of the book author, which is pretty disturbing too.It's too bad this Danish movie (with English subtitles) will be unavailable to most North American's...
compassion, grace and wit. Jonathan Holland, Variety
Emotionally devastating and astonishingly mature, this is a unique feature debut. Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Filmfestival
A young Scandinavian genius tackles Bergmanesque themes of family taboos and relationships with pathos, humor, and a loving eye. Chiseko Tanaka, Tokyo International Film Festival
Tuesday, September 19, 2006