Dan Owens’s review published on Letterboxd:
"You must accept yourself as fallible in order to love others and life."
Director Thomas Vinterberg and acclaimed actor Madds Mikkelsen, team up once again in 2020's 'Another Round'. Following a group of four middle aged Danish high school teachers, going through separate midlife crisis(s), who decide to follow a psychologists theory about alcohol consumption. That theory being that the average human was intended to/should maintain a BAL (blood alcohol level) of 0.5 to improve virtually all facets of ones life. Such facets as social skills, stress reduction, artistic creativity, and potential improved cognitive thought.
The four friends, Martin (Madds Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larson), Peter (Lars Ranthe), and Nikolja (Magnus Millang), furthermore decide to take notes on the psychological effects, and create a thesis of their own. At first there is only three concrete rules established in their experiment. Rule #1: Attempt to maintain a BAL of 0.5 throughout the day. Rule #2: No alcohol consumption after 8pm. And Rule #3: No drinking on the weekends.
At the start of the experiment, the thrill of experimenting/drinking throughout the day, provides mostly positive results across the board for all four men. Martin regains confidence and control of his history class, sparking interest and joy from his students. While also rekindling the spark of his relationship with his wife Anika (Maria Bonnevie), which had been severely struggling the past 8 years. Tommy, who spends most of his free team coaching a local little league soccer/football team, notices his coaching ability greatly improving. Peter, who has been struggling with directing his choir and finding the passion he once felt for music. Now finds himself falling in love with music once again, masterfully and happily guiding his choir to near perfect melody. And lastly Nikolja, a psychology teacher bored with his teaching job, going over the same topics year after year. Now finds himself in utter bliss, being the one who not only came up with the idea for the groups experiment in the first place, but is now thrilled to be doing something fresh, and exciting regarding the study of psychology again.
As the experiment goes on... rules are changed, ideas on how to further propel the experiment ensue, and some less than desirable results begin to take place. As far as the plot goes im going to stop there... as I do not want to completely spoil anything. Rest assured however, that Thomas Vinterberg's 'Another Round' is a gorgeously shot and edited, phenomenally acted, beautifully scored, and brilliantly touching look at the correlation of relationships and alcohol. A film that will stir your emotions and leave you completely intoxicated by its end.
Films like this and some of Vinterberg's previous works like 2012's 'The Hunt', also staring Madds Mikkelsen, are quickly making Thomas Vinterberg one of my favorite directors of all-time. If you aren't familiar with any of his work, I highly recommend both films. Vinterberg truly has a knack for drawing ones emotions out, utilizing very grounded topics and scenarios to do so. All in all 'Another Round' is easily one of my favorite films of 2020 and potentially the best directed film I've seen all year. I truly can not wait to see what else Thomas Vinterberg has in store for us, Cheers! 🍻