Newmarket Films | Release Date: February 21, 2003
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 11 Ratings
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9
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9
EthanK.Mar 3, 2003
I saw this film in Denmark on it's first release, where it struck a chord with its audience immediately. It's a film that follows confused people who, like all of us, act for themselves before they think because it's just I saw this film in Denmark on it's first release, where it struck a chord with its audience immediately. It's a film that follows confused people who, like all of us, act for themselves before they think because it's just easier. The Danish title, which means Love You Forever, gets it right - it's about passions and chaos that drive us crazy until they're all that we have. Expand
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7
charlottes.Jun 6, 2003
I thought the movie had a real life feel about it....it was sad but easy to believe and that was is missing from some of the main stream romantic movies that are okay if you just want to get lost for a moment. The actors were great, and the I thought the movie had a real life feel about it....it was sad but easy to believe and that was is missing from some of the main stream romantic movies that are okay if you just want to get lost for a moment. The actors were great, and the script leaves a lump in my throat. I would love to obtain the sound track, I have been trying to locate the titles of the music tracks. Thanks, and would like to know where. Expand
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9
ChadS.Mar 26, 2003
"Open Hearts" is a melodrama that's never melodramatic. When you have capable actors, writers who can write, and solid direction; soap gets dirty, like life when it's suddenly, inexplicably turned upside-down. How the life-altering "Open Hearts" is a melodrama that's never melodramatic. When you have capable actors, writers who can write, and solid direction; soap gets dirty, like life when it's suddenly, inexplicably turned upside-down. How the life-altering accident is staged, illustrates the phenoema of being at the wrong place at the wrong time(from both sides) better than any film in recent memory. The girl, written off by her bed-ridden fiance, rebounds a little too soon which prevents her from being wholly likable. This is a shrewd move because we don't just pity her, we hate her a little too. What pushes "Open Hearts" towards the cusp of greatness is the relationship between the nurse and the parapelegic. What prevents it from scaling the same heights as "Italian for Beginners" and "Dancer in the Dark", however, is the un-Dogma-like presence of pop music to drape the silence with unnecessary didacticism. To be audience friendly is not a Dogma tenet. But give Susanne Brier credit for capturing more than the usual amount of truth found in most films. "Open Hearts" makes for riveting viewing. Collapse
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7
lasttimeisawJun 25, 2013
Dogme movement (1995-2005) is a terra incognita for me, although now it has officially existed only as a terminology thanks to the ubiquitous evasion of shooting on location with any cellphones or other handheld lighter gizmos, and its spiritDogme movement (1995-2005) is a terra incognita for me, although now it has officially existed only as a terminology thanks to the ubiquitous evasion of shooting on location with any cellphones or other handheld lighter gizmos, and its spirit has been ingested by more advanced mutants (e.g. mumblecore). But Susanne Bier is not merely a Dogme enthusiast, AFTER THE WEDDING (2006 7/10) is a redoubtable relationship dissection and OPEN HEARTS (the new Hannibal Mads Mikkelsen star in both films) treads the same territory to examine the complexity of humans’ conundrum between desire and responsibility, ethics and emotions.

Two couples, one is engaged, another has 3 children, a car accident (not entirely abides by the Dogme rules though) turns their worlds upside down, a threat is common-or-garden both in the cinematic and real world; the life-changing mishap prompts an adultery between a middle class doctor and the disheartened fiancée, whose fiancé undergoes a permanent quadriplegia from the car accident where the doctor’s wife is the offender.

The face-fixated close-ups extensively put those characters under scrutiny for their rational and irrational behaviors, natural light commingles with saturated palette (during the beginning and the ending) and a black & white lens of the blurry and grainy illusory fancy. The cast is sterling, a quartet of tug-of-war from Mikkelsen, Richter, Lie Kass and Steen, a humdrum-weary family man holds his seven-year-itch infatuation to a damsel-in-distress; a comfort-seeker with abiding guilt of abandoning her bed-ridden fiancé; a young paralyzer who ruthlessly deserts his fiancée for his incompetence as a proper man but still hankers for her company; a wife is rueful of her road rage and its tragic repercussions, suddenly devastated by her husband’s utter betrayal; Steen’s impromptu slapping and Mikkelsen’s reaction are among the best on-screen intensified scenes I have even seen, three of the four leads end up in my yearly top 10 list (guess who narrowly missed the spot?).

But on the other hand, the melodramatic core of the story hobbles a soul-searching catharsis and empathetic introspection which would put the film onto an upper notch, Bier and DP Morten Søborg’s camera is erratic but not dizzily shaky, the fly-on-the-wall intimacy allows us to take a much closer look at the symptoms and the cause of the frailty resides in every soul on earth, and offers us staying in a paralleled world, munches with palliative pills to ease our own troubles.
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