The Hunt

The Hunt ★★★★★

A provocative powerhouse drama, and the final evidence that Danish writer/director Thomas Vinterberg is back in form.

In THE HUNT Mads Mikkelsen plays a kindergarten teacher who is wrongfully accused of sexually molesting a child. As seen in several real life cases, things quickly escalate out of control. The idea that someone abused a child can bring out the worst in us. Here we're helplessly trapped on the side of the accused, and all we can do is watch as one injustice after another takes place.

It is all too believable and Mikkelsen's restrained performance is a masterful centerpiece. Still, what I found to be the most heartbreaking and distressing moment of the film doesn't even include Mikkelsen, but his despairing son (Lasse Fogelstrøm) meeting the family of the "victim".

Howard Hawks defined a good movie as having "three great scenes, no bad ones." Once the ball starts rolling every scene in THE HUNT is a Great one.

Vinterberg's second feature THE CELEBRATION (1998) was an instant classic, though after a while some feared it was the product of a one-hit wonder. A whole fourteen years later the naysayers can finally eat their words. Vinterberg was no fluke. He is back where his first masterpiece put him, as one of the most exciting writer/directors in the world.

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