From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun May 15 19:55:54 2016
A SECOND CHANCE (2015)
A film review by David N. Butterworth
Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth
***1/2 (out of ****)
With unnerving accuracy and trademark devastation, director Susanne Bier
and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen will rip the heart from your pounding chest, shake it violently, and drop-kick it into sweet oblivion with their sixth crushing collaboration, "A Second Chance" ("En Chance Til"). This is what they do and this is what they do best and this is what they should
keep on doing. Less successfully, Bier partnered with writer Allan Loeb on 2007's "Things We Lost in the Fire," her first American-soiled feature, and
the results were watered down at best, despite valiant turns from Halle
Berry and Benicio Del Toro as a couple struggling with tragic loss. And
the less said about the Christopher Kyle-scripted Brad 'n' Jen costumer "Serena" (2015) the better.
In "A Second Chance" (from later in 2015 than "Serena" and therefore dispelling any concerns that the Bier/Jensen partnership is a thing of the past), "Game of Thrones" heartthrob Nikolaj Coster-Waldau leads a fine supporting cast as Andreas, a cop living an idyllic life with his beautiful wife Anna (Maria Bonnevie) and their newborn son. When Andreas and his
partner Simon (the dependable Ulrich Thomsen) are called to settle a
domestic dispute between a junkie and his prostitute partner, a dramatic discovery triggers a series of startling events, with Andreas pushed to
cross legal and moral lines in order to keep his nuclear family intact.
And that's all the plot you're going to get here.
Coster-Waldau is excellent. His scenes with the infant son are
unusually tender. Likewise, Bonnevie handles the emotional demands of her finely-written role with conviction. And Thomsen, like I say, is almost
always good. But it's the powerhouse pairing of Bier and Jensen that makes this "'Chance" one you should consider taking, but expect to be dragged
through the emotional wringer more than once.