Open Hearts (2002)

Open Hearts (2002)

In this Danish drama, a car crash disrupts four lives, changing two couples’ relationships irrevocably

The Very Best

8.0

Movie

Denmark
Danish
Drama, Romance
2002
FEMALE DIRECTOR, SUSANNE BIER
Anders Nyborg, Birthe Neumann, Hans Henrik Clemensen
113 min

What it's about

Cecilie and Joachim are about to get married when a freak car accident leaves Joachim disabled, throwing their lives into a spin. The driver of the other car, Marie, and her family don’t get off lightly, either. Her husband Niels works in the hospital where he meets Cecilie and falls madly in love with her.

The take

Joachim and Ceilie are engaged to be married when a car crash leaves the former paralyzed. While Joachim recovers in the hospital, Ceilie becomes entangled with his doctor—who also happens to be the husband of the woman who caused Joachim’s accident. What transpires after is not unlike a car crash itself: gut-wrenching to watch, impossible to look away from.

Although the film’s premise toes the line of melodrama, Susanne Bier handles the characters with extraordinary care. Elsker dig for evigt (Open Hearts) boasts incredible performances from its core cast of four, with Mads Mikkelsen and Paprika Steen particularly shining. This is not an easy nor feel-good movie to sit through, but its unflinching gaze at complicated characters in a tragic situation makes for a rewarding journey.

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