directed by: Ole Bornedal
cast: Maria Bonnevie, Gérard Dépardieu, Bjørn Floberg, Wenche Foss, Christopher Eccleston, Jørgen Langhelle, Mads Dittmann Mikkelsen
The movie is set in Northern Norway during the 1860s and is based on a novel by Norwegian author Herbjørg Wassmo. Little Dina causes a horrible accident that kills her mother and leaves her father grief-stricken and, above all, very cold towards his daughter. Disregarded by her father, Dina becomes a wild creature, but ultimately, a private tutor brings her out of her shell, he discovers her love of music and teaches her to play the cello. Towards people other than her tutor, she remains quite the unruly little girl that grows up to be an unruly young woman (Maria Bonnevie). Nevertheless, her father manages to talk her into marrying his friend Jacob (Dépardieu), who is totally besotted with her.
Not to recount the whole story (and believe me, it is quite a long one), from here on it is mainly melodrama. Dina is a brutal young woman who kills - or threatens to kill - what she loves and has at least as much trouble dealing with life as coping with death. She is quite the independent woman and has a head for numbers, which makes for some delightful scenes, including several with her intensely unsympathetical stepson, but she also spends a lot of time on her bed, mouth open, bawling or just staring at the ceiling, sweating.
The last half hour of the movie feels painfully long, there is an utterly ridiculous slow motion-scene featuring one of Dina's lovers, and most of the Actors Who Make An Appearance In Every Norwegian Movie
do manage to get their five minutes or so. The movie has gotten some good reviews in Norway and Denmark, however a lot of critics have been in a more murderous mood. In my opinion, it is actually neither-nor, not quite bad enough to deserve axing, not nearly good enough to call for any kind of panegyrical reception. Danish director Ole Bornedal did a whole lot better with the brilliant Nightwatch (the original Danish version).
In 2002, this was the most expensive Nordic movie production to date.