Aftermath | Chicago Reader

Aftermath

Paprika Steen—a fine actress who's worked with Susanne Bier, Thomas Vinterberg, and Lars von Trier—makes her feature directing debut with this sober, intelligent Danish drama about a husband and wife coming unhinged after their 12-year-old daughter is killed in an accident. The wife (Sofie Grabol), a caseworker for a social services agency, compromises herself professionally by striking up a secret friendship with a neglectful young mother whose baby she covets; meanwhile the husband (Mikael Birkkjaer) begins stalking the alcoholic real estate agent who ran over their child. Despite Steen's long history with the wild and woolly Dogma 95 architects, this 2004 release is more reminiscent of traditional Scandinavian social drama—quietly and precisely told, its narrative development as smooth and pristine as a china plate. In Danish with subtitles. 104 min.

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