Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Wildlands Review: A Tense Family Drama

Sandra Guldberg Kampp	...	Ida Sidse Babett Knudsen	Sidse Babett Knudsen	...	Bodil Joachim Fjelstrup	Joachim Fjelstrup	...	Jonas Elliott Crosset Hove	Elliott Crosset Hove	...	David Besir Zeciri	Besir Zeciri	...	Mads Carla Philip Røder	Carla Philip Røder	...	Anna Sofie Torp	Sofie Torp	...	Marie Omar Shargawi	Omar Shargawi	...	Omar Maria Esther Lemvigh	Maria Esther Lemvigh	...	Hanne Helene Ilse Lyhr Enzenberg	Helene Ilse Lyhr Enzenberg	...	Mia Frida Sejersen	Frida Sejersen	...	Sofia (as Frida Mai Mammen Sejersen) Marie Knudsen Fogh	Marie Knudsen Fogh	...	Sarah Henrik Vestergaard	Henrik Vestergaard	...	Sofias far Benjamin Kitter	Benjamin Kitter	...	Politibetjent Jonathan Rikke Bilde	Rikke Bilde	...	Sygeplejerske #1 Gitte Gry Bech Ballesheim	Gitte Gry Bech Ballesheim	...	Sygeplejerske #2

Release date: August 20, 2021
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Jeanette Nordahl
Written by: Ingeborg Topsøe
Cast: Sandra Guldberg Kampp (Ida), Sidse Babett Knudsen (Bodil), Joachim Fjelstrup (Jonas), Elliott Crosset Hove (David), & Besir Zeciri (Mads)

Following the tragic death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) falls into the care of her estranged aunt Bodil (Sidse Babett Knudsen; a 180-degree reversal from her role as the morally impeccable Danish Prime Minister in Borgen) and Bodil’s three grown sons (Joachim Fjelstrup, Elliott Crosset Hove and Besir Zeciri). Ida initially finds comfort in their home, which is filled with physical tenderness and a strong sense of unity. But the darker reality of her family’s criminal way of life and toxic dynamics slowly pushes her to accept violence, addiction and intimidation as normal. It isn’t until the situation spirals out of control that Ida realizes that love and violence have become impossible to separate. Doubting if she really belongs with this loyal, but dangerous matriarch and a brotherhood on the edge, Ida faces the same question that her mother once faced before her; just how far are you willing to go for your family in Nordahl’s accomplished directorial debut, a radical meditation on family, loyalty and the seductive cycle of corruption.

Maria Ekerhovd	...	associate producer Eva Jakobsen	...	producer Mikkel Jersin	...	producer Rebecka Lafrenz	...	associate producer Kir Laustsen	...	line producer Christina Palmegaard	...	post producer Katrin Pors	...	producer Mimmi Spång	...	associate producer Giulia Triolo	...	associate producer Signe Vinther	...	post producer
Wildland is a dramatic film that does so much with so little.  And that is not a knock on the movie; the film tells a sinister family crime tale without needing to use more than the simple interactions within the family and between the children and the iron0willed matriarch.  This is accomplished mainly through the great acting.  All the characters are well portrayed, but the tour de force in the film (as in the family itself) is Sidse Babett Knudsen as the mother.  She is strong willed and stern when needed, loving and motherly when it calls for it.  It is really interesting to see the dynamic around her as no one questions her.  And she rarely has to raise her voice as her cold, stern words are enough to push this family into motion.

The story of Wildland is a wonderfully slow one, that builds on the sinister nature of the mother and the family business.  It takes a while to get a full picture of what happens, but the film does a great job of making everything just feel slightly off.  Early on you don't necessarily know why the interactions seem strained and forced, but they just feel so right in a wrong kind of way.  And this story builds slowly without a need to showcase much else.  The main focus is the family and although there are scenes that take place outside the family home, we rarely see more than the main members and a few spouses and significant others.  The intrigue and unease are projected through this core group of complicated, intertwined individuals.  And through this gripping story, you just want to know what will happen next and more about this mysterious setup.  And the film concludes with a wonderful, bittersweet ending that is perfectly appropriate for the journey that we have been on.

Wildland is a tense family drama with wonderful performances for this complicated, sinister family and a slow burning, intricate story.  

Watch it.

Music by  Puce Mary	...	(as Frederikke Hoffmeier)Cinematography by  David Gallego	Film Editing by  Michael Aaglund	Casting By  Anja Philip	Production Design by  Helle Lygum Justesen	Costume Design by  Emilie Bøge Dresler	Makeup Department  Maria Møller	...	makeup artist Birgitte Samson	...	makeup designer
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Wildland is available on August 20, 2021 via Virtual Cinema, VOD, and digital platforms.  For showtimes, click here.

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