The Commune

111 minutes 2016

In the early 70s, a swaggering college professor in Copenhagen (Ulrich Thomsen) inherits a large suburban home, and his wife (Trine Dyrholm), a TV newscaster, persuades him to turn it into a commune for them, their teenage daughter, and their bohemian friends. All goes well at first, but then the professor announces to his wife that he's fallen in love with a student, and the wife suggests that they welcome his young woman into the household. Thomsen, Dyrholm, and writer-director Thomas Vinterberg all worked together on The Celebration (1998), the inaugural film of the Dogme 95 movement, and this 2016 Danish drama reminds one that, for all the technical restrictions imposed on those films, their true virtue lay in their commitment to social realism and ensemble acting. Unfortunately The Commune turns out to be a fairly predictable exercise in neoliberal backlash, as a bunch of free-love radicals crash on the rocks of their own enlightenment. In Danish with subtitles.

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