PRODS Morten Kaufmann, Sisse Graum Jørgensen
SCR Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
CAM Charlotte Bruus Christensen
ED Janus Billeskov Jansen, Anne Østerud
PROD DES Torben Stig Nielsen
MUS Nikolaj Egelund
PROD CO Zentropa Entertainments / Film I Väst / Zentropa International Sweden
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a well-liked kindergarten teacher in a provincial Danish town. He’s great with the kids, popular with his colleagues and respected in the community. All that changes overnight when a young girl utters something unrepeatable, something a child that age should have no business knowing, and points the finger at her favourite teacher. We’re all innocent until proven guilty, but when pedophilia is in the air, the children must be protected at all costs and there will be no shortage of angry citizens prepared to cast the first stone.
He’s often cast as a heavy—he was Le Chiffre, James Bond’s nemesis in Casino Royale—but Mikkelsen excels here as a decent man forced to endure Job-like persecution as he’s suspended from work, becomes a social pariah, sees friends turn to foes and finds his day-to-day existence a living hell. In his most successful film since The Celebration, Dogme co-founder Thomas Vinterberg remorselessly turns the screws on Lucas, showing how easily public opinion can embrace the blood lust of a lynch mob, and testing how even a fundamentally good man responds to such malignant stress. This probing psychological drama is as gripping and cathartic as any thriller.