The Hunt (2012 film)

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The Hunt
The Hunt (2012 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed byThomas Vinterberg
Produced byMorten Kaufmann
Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Thomas Vinterberg
Written byTobias Lindholm
Thomas Vinterberg
StarringMads Mikkelsen
Alexandra Rapaport
Thomas Bo Larsen
Annika Wedderkopp
Music byNikolaj Egelund
CinematographyCharlotte Bruus Christensen
Editing byAnne Østerud
Janus Billeskov Jansen
StudioZentropa
Distributed byNordisk Film
Magnolia Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 20 May 2012 (2012-05-20) (Cannes)
  • 10 January 2013 (2013-01-10) (Denmark)
Running time115 minutes
CountryDenmark
LanguageDanish
Budget20 million kr
(3.45 million USD)
Box office$16,763,703 USD
 
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The Hunt
The Hunt (2012 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed byThomas Vinterberg
Produced byMorten Kaufmann
Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Thomas Vinterberg
Written byTobias Lindholm
Thomas Vinterberg
StarringMads Mikkelsen
Alexandra Rapaport
Thomas Bo Larsen
Annika Wedderkopp
Music byNikolaj Egelund
CinematographyCharlotte Bruus Christensen
Editing byAnne Østerud
Janus Billeskov Jansen
StudioZentropa
Distributed byNordisk Film
Magnolia Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 20 May 2012 (2012-05-20) (Cannes)
  • 10 January 2013 (2013-01-10) (Denmark)
Running time115 minutes
CountryDenmark
LanguageDanish
Budget20 million kr
(3.45 million USD)
Box office$16,763,703 USD

The Hunt (Danish: Jagten) is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen. The story is set in a small Danish village around Christmas, and follows a man who becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a child.[1][2]

The film was screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and competed at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award for his role.[3][4][5] It also won the 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize. The film has been selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards.[6][7] In the same category it was selected to the short list in the Golden Globe Award 2013.

Plot[edit]

Lucas is a member of a small, close-knit, Danish community and he works at a local kindergarten. A divorcé, Lucas struggles to maintain a relationship with his son due to his antagonistic wife, but enjoys wholesome interaction with the school children. Additionally, there seems to be a silver lining when his co-worker, Nadja, makes advances towards him and eventually moves in as his girlfriend.

This is soon ruined when nursery pupil Klara, who is also the daughter of Lucas' best friend, Theo, wrongly accuses Lucas of showing his genitals to her; after Lucas returns a gift given to him by Klara, she gives unclear testimony against Lucas to nursery staff, apparently interpolating a separate incident in which she was shown a picture of an erect penis by her older brother in jest. She is asked leading questions by the nursery personnel during a subsequent investigation, who ascertain from her testimony that Lucas acted in a sexually inappropriate manner around her. All the adults in the community readily believe her story, and dismiss any of her contrary comments as denial.

As a result, Lucas is shunned by the majority of the community as a sexual predator. The pressure causes him to break up with Nadja, and even his son is publicly ostracised. The end of his friendship with Theo is particularly painful, with Theo's attempts to sympathize with Lucas thwarted by his overprotective wife. However, despite the nursery staff's actions, whose leading questions mean multiple children "admit" to being abused, Lucas soon builds a strong defence; all the children state they were abused in Lucas' basement, providing vivid descriptions of it despite his house lacking one. Despite this, Lucas' ostracism turns to violence; his dog, Fanny, is soon killed, and Lucas is beaten by grocery store employees for trying to buy food.

Lucas confronts Theo during a public mass on Christmas Eve, causing Theo to further sympathize with him. Later overhearing Klara, who apologizes to Lucas for what has happened while drifting off to sleep, Theo realizes his childhood friend is innocent. Despite remaining largely distanced, Theo visits Lucas on Christmas Day with food and alcohol as a peace offering.

A year after the incident, tensions in the community have lessened. Lucas and Nadja are in a relationship again, and his son is accepted into the local hunting society as an adult member. On a hunting expedition to commemorate the event, Lucas parts from the main group, only to be scarcely missed when an unseen individual shoots at him. Blinded by the setting sun, Lucas is unable to see his attacker, who reloads but flees. Upset by the event, Lucas visibly reflects that he will never be fully vindicated.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was produced by Zentropa for 20 million Danish kroner. It received co-production support from Sweden's Film i Väst and Zentropa International Sweden. Further support came from the Danish Film Institute, DR, Eurimages, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Swedish Film Institute, Sveriges Television and the MEDIA Programme.[1]

Release[edit]

Alexandra Rapaport and Thomas Vinterberg at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

The film had its premiere on 20 May at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, as the first Danish-language film in the main competition since 1998.[1][8] Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at Cannes.[9] Nordisk Film released it in Denmark on 10 January 2013.[1] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 7 May 2013.

Reception[edit]

The film currently has a 95% rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes from 111 film critics.[10] Rotten Tomatoes describes the film as "Gripping, smartly written, and anchored by a strong performance from Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt asks difficult questions -- and has the courage to face the answers head on."

Accolades[edit]

AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipient(s)Result
Alliance of Women Film Journalists[11]December 16, 2013Best Foreign Language FilmThomas VinterbergPending
British Academy Film AwardsFebruary 10, 2013Best Film not in the English LanguageNominated
British Independent Film Awards9 December, 2012Best Foreign Independent FilmThomas VinterbergWon
Cannes Film FestivalMay 27, 2012Best ActorMads MikkelsenWon
Prize of the Ecumenical JuryThomas VinterbergWon
Vulcan AwardCharlotte Bruus ChristensenWon
Palme d'OrThomas VinterbergNominated
Chicago Film Critics Association AwardsDecember 16, 2013Best Foreign Language FilmNominated
Critics' Choice AwardsJanuary 16, 2014Best Foreign Language FilmPending
Satellite AwardsFebruary 23, 2014Best Foreign Language FilmPending
European Film AwardsDecember 1, 2012Best FilmThomas VinterbergNominated
Best DirectorThomas VinterbergNominated
Best ActorMads MikkelsenNominated
Best ScreenwriterThomas Vinterberg, Tobias LindholmWon
Best EditorJanus Billeskov Jansen, Anne ØsterudNominated
Golden Globe AwardsJanuary 12, 2014Best Foreign Language FilmPending
Independent Spirit AwardsMarch 1, 2014Best Foreign FilmPending
London Film Critics Circle AwardsJanuary 20, 2013Actor of the YearMads MikkelsenNominated
National Board of Review AwardsDecember 4, 2013Top Foreign FilmsWon
Nordic Council Film Prize2013Nordic Council Film PrizeThomas VinterbergWon
Online Film Critics Society AwardsDecember 16, 2013Best ActorMads MikkelsenNominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society[12]December 17, 2013Best Foreign Language FilmNominated
Best Performance by A Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - FemaleAnnika WedderkoppNominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association AwardsDecember 16, 2013Best Foreign Language FilmNominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards[13]December 11, 2013Best Foreign Language FilmNominated
Vancouver International Film Festival2012Rogers People’s Choice AwardThomas VinterbergWon
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association AwardsDecember 9, 2013Best Foreign Language FilmNominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Staff writer (2012-04-19). "Vinterberg til Cannes Festival". dfi.se (in Danish). Danish Film Institute. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  2. ^ "The Hunt, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  3. ^ "The Hunt". TIFF. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  4. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  5. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2012 line-up announced". timeout. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  6. ^ "Denmark Selects 'The Hunt' As Foreign Language Oscar Candidate". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  7. ^ "Oscars: Denmark Nominates 'The Hunt' for Best Foreign Language Category". Hollywood Report. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Screenings guide". festival-cannes.fr. Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  9. ^ "Awards 2012". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  10. ^ "The Hunt (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  11. ^ "2013 EDA Award Nominess". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Phoenix Film Critics Society 2013 Award Nominations". Phoenix Film Critics Society. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  13. ^ "San Diego Film Critics Select Top Films for 2013". Retrieved December 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]