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The Commune

“An intimate, bittersweet study of communal living drenched in the unfiltered weed smoke and wide-wale corduroy of 1970s Copenhagen.“ - Entertainment Weekly

“Erik is an architecture professor. His wife Anna is a newscaster. They have a precocious teenage daughter Freja. Unable to afford to live in Erik’s family home, they decide to “call more people” and to create an extended family.

“At first, all goes swimmingly but then Erik begins an affair with a 24-year-old student, Emma. She moves into the home and Anna, Erik’s wife, slowly goes into meltdown. As so often in his work, Vinterberg invokes the spirit of Ingmar Bergman. The film also often plays like a reworking of Scenes From a Marriage, Bergman’s probing and very bleak psycho-drama about a couple whose relationship has turned rotten at its core.

“Among the others in the household is a little boy with a weak heart who doesn’t think he is going to live beyond the age of nine, an odd job man who breaks down in tears at the slightest excuse, and Erik’s hard-drinking and very chaotic bohemian friend, Ole. The residents hold their meetings around the dining table. They talk as earnestly about beer bills and dishwashing machines as they do about relationships and evictions.

“Thomsen and Dyrnholm give exceptional performances as the couple whose marriage flounders in spite of their affection for one another and determination always to do the right thing. They seem so grounded and sensible that it is all the more shocking when both begin to behave so erratically. The commune, they soon discover, isn’t any kind of Eden after all.” - Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

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