Mads Mikkelsen cuts a formidable figure in this enthralling period drama, set in mid-18th century Jutland. As the earthier original Danish title indicates, Mikkelsen’s Ludvig Kahlen is illegitimate, the son of a maid who nonetheless earns himself the rank of captain in the King’s army, and persuades the crown to back him in a plan to farm the inhospitable northern heath lands. As if this wasn’t challenge enough, Ludvig must contend with the nefarious enmity of the county judge (Simon Bennebjerg), an unscrupulous landowner who despises this unwelcome interloper.
Co-written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel, whose 2012 collaboration with Mikkelsen, A Royal Affair, resulted in an Academy Award nomination, The Promised Land is a good old fashioned melodrama told with vigor and finesse, and reflective of contemporary concerns around equality and diversity. It’s also a fabulous reminder of just how good an actor Mads Mikkelsen really is.
This is a big Nordic Western that maintains its gravitas throughout… The Promised Land is a terrific story driven by skillful writing and strong performances. There’s an art to bringing vitality and modernity to historical drama, and Arcel shows a firm grasp of it.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
Thursday October 05
Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel
Oliviér Bugge Coutté
Arcel has written a large number of scripts including the adaptation of the first film in the highly acclaimed Millennium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009). His feature film A Royal Affair, which he both wrote and directed, won the Silver Bear for best script at Berlin in 2012 and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language category. Since then Arcel has directed The Dark Tower, and has written a number of critically acclaimed films, which makes him one of the most sought-after both writers and directors in Scandinavia.
Filmography: Truth About Men (2010); A Royal Affair (2012); The Dark Tower (2017)
Galas & Special Presentations
See more films in this series:
Ansi meets Holappa, and these two lonely souls feel they are meant for each other, but Fate may have other ideas... Aki Kaurismäki crafts a poignant and pertinent comedy which picked up the Jury Prize at Cannes.
When lawyer Anne begins a taboo affair with her 17-year-old stepson, the balance of her life is threatened. In an exploration of power dynamics, Last Summer lures you in and refuses to shy away from discomfort.
The Old Oak
The local pub is virtually the last community gathering place in an impoverished northern town. when an influx of Syrian refugees stokes xenophobic backlash, TJ, the bar's owner steps up and help the newcomers -- to the anger of some of his regulars.
Rohrwacher's first feature since Happy As Lazzaro is an exhilaratingly wild, mysterious, rough and tumble tale of a disheveled English tomb raider (Josh O'Connor) living with a roisterous group of Italian bohemians: singers, smugglers and petty thieves.
The Promised Land
In this enthralling period melodrama set in mid-18th century Denmark, Mads Mikkelsen tries to establish a farm on the gritty Jutland heath land, but must contend with the enmity of a ruthless local landowner. From the director of A Royal Affair.
Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe
A celebration of Canada's favourite children's show, Mr. Dressup, which built a legacy of kindness, patience, inclusiveness, and creativity, all while enriching the lives of five generations.
Anatomy of a Fall
When Samuel is found dead outside his alpine cabin it's clear he fell from the attic. But did he jump, or was he pushed? Justine Triet became only the third woman to win the the Palme d'Or at Cannes, for this thoroughly engrossing courtroom drama.
The Zone of Interest
Glazer's chilling, scrupulously restrained account of the domestic life of Rudolph Höss (Christian Friedel) and wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller) never takes over the wall separating their idyllic villa from his work -- the Concentration Camp at Auschwitz.
Legendary ballet dancer Karen Kain chose to direct Swan Lake at the National Ballet of Canada as her swan song. Chelsea McMullen's thrilling backstage documentary shows the grueling physical and emotional toil required to produce artistry at this level.
Haunted by disturbing memories Jeanine allows her repressed trauma to reshape the present as she re-enters the opera world in order to remount her former mentor's most famous work, Salome. Atom Egoyan's latest is a fractured mirror of abuse and catharsis.
In a poignant and piercing critique on homophobia, Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda explores the tension between a schoolboy and his teacher from various vantage points. This is a moral mystery tale, complex and gratifying.
I'm Just Here for the Riot
Vancouver, June 15, 2011. Hours after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, rioters laid waste to blocks of downtown. In this absorbing documentary, Kathleen S. Jayme (The Grizzlie Truth) and Asia Youngman revisit that chaotic night.
A Normal Family
During a fancy dinner with their wives, two brothers with divergent moral principles learn of a disturbing situation involving both their teenage kids. In the fallout of this dreadful discovery, the families are faced with an unimaginable choice.
The Boy and the Heron
Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki returns from retirement with an enchanting swansong, the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.
Priscilla Beaulieu (Cailee Spaeny) is just 14 when she meets Elvis Presley (Jacob Elordi, Euphoria) on a US military base in Germany, 1959. Courteous, respectful and a little sad, he sweeps her off her feet. But this fairy tale romance is an illusion.
Set in France in 1885, and photographed like an Impressionist painting, this sublime foodie film surveys the intuitive, intimate partnership between famed gourmand Dodin (Benoit Magimel) and his beloved cook Eugénie (Juliette Binoche).