A Second Chance (2014)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Roland Møller, Ewa Fröling, Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
En chance til is a movie starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Roland M?ller, and Nikolaj Lie Kaas. A conscientious police officer who investigates a violent case of domestic dispute in the squalid apartment of a drug addict has to make...
  • 6.8 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Anders Thomas Jensen, Writer:
  • Susanne Bier, Director:
  • Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Producer:

All subtitles:

8 / 10

Powerful drama

To say much about the plot of Suzanne Bier's film about parenthood would be to risk depriving it of its power - the less you know going in, the better. The film is a succession of well-timed punches to the gut, and the cast is good enough to make the characters' difficult choices understandable. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau carries a lot of the weight of the film, but he's well-supported - May Andersen is impressive as Sanne in her first acting role, and Bier's previous collaborator Nikolaj Lie Kaas does well to avoid making his character a one-dimensional.

Not an easy watch by any means, and not an entertainment, but a very well-made and powerful social drama.

7 / 10

Dark Danish Morality Tale

This is one of those films that is very hard to give a synopsis about without doing a major plot reveal. Suffice to say it is about the choices we can make when faced with the 'unthinkable'. It is about how we are able to not only blur the line between right and wrong but also move it completely whilst still, self deceivingly, believing that you are still the good guy.

It is about a married couple Anna and her policeman husband Andreas and how they deal with their own tragedy. This is from director Susanne Bier who brought us 'In a Better World' and 'After the wedding'. She has a keen eye for direction and uses dramatic timing to ramp up the tension but also perfectly timed plot reveals – and there are a fair few here.

It is superbly acted with a striking performance from Maria Bonnevie as the new mum and wife. This is a film that trades on the reveals and twists and as such may not be one to see over again; but it is still powerful enough to recommend and indeed warrant at least one good viewing.

8 / 10

Danish Cinema Wins Again

I'm a huge fan of Danish films and of Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau. I'm slowly working my way through his movies (although I could have done without suffering The Gods of Egypt). The man can act. He's also got amazing screen presence, and it's both those things that saves this rather slow film and turns it from interesting to mesmerising. It raises interesting moral dilemmas as well, makes you question "what would I do?". I did not see some of the twists coming, so that added to the enjoyment. If you're very into American movies, or like a lot of action in your films then this probably isn't for you. But if you enjoy superb acting, tense and occasionally heart-rending storytelling then I think you'd enjoy this. It's a must for NC-W fans.

7 / 10

A film with really good acting

I think one of the main reasons this film really works is the strong performances from Nicolai Coaster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen and Maria Bonnevie. Nicolay Coaster-Waldau plays a husband and a father, Bonnivie his wife. The film give an example of how a "perfect life", suddenly can turn into a living nightmare. And how the wrong choices can be devastating for everyone involved. The couple really pull it off in this film. Without their strong presence and convincing characters, the film would not been as good as it actually is. They make it a strong and powerful drama. Othervise the story in the film is very simple, and I must admit, not the strongest and most interesting. It is too straight forward, with few surprises. But the actors make it worth Your while to watch it, and they manage to lift this drama. (Sorry about my English)

8 / 10

Picturesque Drama

I think this is a very good film, but I can understand how it struck negative chords with kevjfarrell (see the above review). There is a pedestrian quality about the plot. In some places we can almost imagine the filming of a scene. Transitions are seamless, but they have a seemingly manufactured quality about them. Perhaps it is all a matter of a frame of mind. Perhaps I am tired of guns, noise, furious action and the hyperventilating in today's popular entertainment. So I just let myself go and became immersed in the drama.

I disagree with Mr Farrell in regards to the acting. Far from seeing it as sophomoric posturing for entry into film school, I found it natural, gripping and well-paced. In a word, realistic.

I have noted that photography has not been mentioned in the above reviews. The camera is very much a part of this film. The cinematography contains a full pallet of colour and texture with intriguing, grainless resolution and depth of field. Scenes shift between chromatic hues to almost monochrome where light and shadow replace contrasting colour. You are neither jarred nor bullied by these changes. There is a gentleness, which is complimentary to the subject.

The argument in the film is staged by gentleness vs violence, understanding and compassion vs reactive predilection. It is difficult to rate this film on a purely technical level. It could be rated less than my 8, and it could be rated more highly. I'll settle on 8 and just say that I am very glad I watched this film, and I hope to watch it again. I recommend the Danish version with subtitles.