Watch The Trailer
Storyline (warning: spoilers)
This year’s Oscar nominations ignited real awards fire under Another Round, with this spellbinding Danish film winning the award for best international feature. One reason is Thomas Vinterberg, who snagged a surprise but deserving nomination for best director.
Another Round revels in Vinterberg’s wicked mischief and dramatic force. Starring the mesmerizing Casino Royale Bond villain and Hannibal TV favorite Mads Mikkelsen, the film is a comedy of shocking gravity about, among other things, day drinking. Mikkelsen plays Martin, a dancer turned history teacher at a Copenhagen high school who is having a mid-life crisis that his alienated wife, Trine (Maria Bonnevie), and their two children can’t stop. That’s when Martin hears a theory that humans are born with a .05 percent alcohol deficiency and that maybe sustaining a controlled buzz could help kickstart a stalled life. Martin decides to start an experiment with his teacher buddies, weary Nikolaj (Magnus Millang), wound-up Peter (Lars Ranthe), and divorce-wounded Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), to test the theory.
For a while the results are bracing and hilarious. Mikkelsen gives his best performance yet as a man trying to bust through the barricades of his own melancholy. The same goes for his friends. But sneaking a few swigs of vodka between classes soon escalates into excess, with disastrous results for Tommy, the gym teacher whose secret stash is discovered at school. By the time Martin starts staggering into walls you might worry that “Another Round” will degenerate into a cautionary fable about demon alcohol. That it doesn’t is a tribute to Vinterberg.
There is power and poignance in the unforgettable ending of Another Round and it’s a great moment of cinema and a touching and vital way for Vinterberg to celebrate his daughter, who was tragically killed in a motor accident during the shooting of the movie, through his art. Bravo to all concerned for one of the year’s best films and a well-deserved Oscar.