A Second Chance


Contemporary World Cinema

SIFF Says:

In such films as Open Hearts (2002), Brothers (2004), After The Wedding (2006), and the Academy Award®-winning In A Better World(2010), Danish director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen have built a thematic through-line in their work, their characters consistently presented with extreme moral dilemmas that ultimately reveal their true natures, for better or for worse. In their latest, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) plays Andreas, a police officer and new father who, during a raid on an ex-con’s apartment, opens a closet door and discovers a crying baby, seemingly tossed aside. Unfortunately, his pleas to social services go unanswered, leaving the child in the care of junkie Tristan (Nikolaj Lie Kaas, “The Killing”) and his girlfriend Sanne (supermodel May Anderson, making her acting debut). But when he and his wife’s own child dies in its sleep, Andreas decides to switch out the two infants, leaving Tristan and Sanne with a corpse. Nobody seems to be notice the switch. Nobody, that is, except Sanne. A Second Chance is a harrowing psychological drama about the ethics of parenthood and the fluctuating definition of righteousness, anchored by Coster-Waldau’s mesmerizing, riveting performance as a man whose moral code may be more skewed than he ever anticipated.

Stranger Says:

The latest film by the Danish director Susanne Bier (In a Better World), is a thriller with lots twists and surprises. It involves a cop who has a baby, a marriage, and a handsome house by a lake the reflects a wintery sky. But the cop makes one fatal mistake: He refuses to see if his marriage is happy or not. And if he had done so, if had just taken the time to asses the true state of things, he would have soon faced this difficult question: Is his wife crazy or not. Everyone, however, can see within minutes of the film’s opening that she is not at all stable and needs help right away. But the cop is too wrapped in his cute baby, his safe job, his wood-warm house, and the beauty of his wife’s face to see that shit is about to hit the fan hard. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

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Film Credits
Susanne Bier
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Maria Bonnevie, May Andersen
SIFF 2015