Jeffrey Overstreet’s review published on Letterboxd:
"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
Thomas Vinterberg is a filmmaker who dares — and thank goodness.
Something is buzzed in the state of Denmark. And it's given us the wickedly funny answer to the annoyingly popular genre of Inspiring Teacher Movies. It stops just shy of an "Oh Captain, my Captain!" moment.
Mikkelsen is just so good here — just nuanced enough to give the film real dramatic tension and thoughtfulness, just edgy enough to make the comedy cut.
So funny, so thoughtful, so playful. I love how an absurdity placed at the center of an otherwise realistic narrative can break open truths that are otherwise hard to express.
I don't know how I would teach with any effectiveness if I didn't sustain a sense of play, of joy, of daring. If I ever lose the spirit (not the spirits) that inspires teaching, the curiosity, the willing to ask "What if?" — please, help me recover it, or listen to where the spirit wants to lead me next.
Also: God save us from the inevitable American remake with Mortenson, Ferrell, Galifianakis, and McConaughey.
My enthusiasm: 4/5