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      Open Hearts

      R Released Feb 21, 2003 1h 53m Drama List
      93% Tomatometer 58 Reviews 90% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings Cecilie (Sonja Richter) and Joachim (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) are engaged to be married, when tragedy strikes: Joachim is the victim of a car crash that robs him of the use of his legs. While at the hospital tending to Joachim, Cecilie meets Niels (Mads Mikkelsen), a doctor working there. As she leans on him for moral support, she discovers that his wife was responsible for Joachim's accident. The revelation doesn't stop their affair, which throws both their lives into upheaval. Read More Read Less
      Open Hearts

      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      Pulsing with honesty, this film lays bare the rawness of human emotion with a story made all the more believable thanks to its gritty, low-budget approach.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Empire Magazine Rated: 4/5 Dec 30, 2006 Full Review Steve Murray Atlanta Journal-Constitution A small-scale domestic drama with large-scale feeling. Rated: B+ Apr 27, 2003 Full Review Alexander Walker London Evening Standard Susanne Bier's film is a pretty ordinary chapter of everyday sin and, it has to be admitted, pretty misery-making. Apr 5, 2003 Full Review David Walsh World Socialist Web Site Open Hearts lacks spontaneity ... because it is not essentially taken from life, but constructed in order to prove the filmmaker's superficial premise, that human circumstances and the human heart are beyond comprehension. Feb 16, 2021 Full Review Mark Halverson Sacramento News & Review Rated: 4/5 Aug 7, 2008 Full Review Jason Gorber Film Scouts Absent of nihilism, this nonetheless is a love triangle film with all the darkness and pain and love and longing that goes into these complex, adult relationships. Rated: A- Jun 21, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      R 9 A real feel-good mov... yeah, maybe not! 'Open Hearts' is actually a film that doesn't really evoke many thoughts in my head. It's a solid watch, the story is standout and the acting is more than satisfactory. Apart from that, I don't have much elese to say, to be honest. Sonja Richter and Mads Mikkelsen are very good together in this, as are Paprika Steen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas in fairness. The whole plot that they are all involved in is rather depressing, the relationship between Richter's Cecilie and Mikkelsen's Joachim is uncomforting to see unfold. Stine Bjerregaard's character is annoyingly used (just there to twist the story) but the Bjerregaard herself does do well. I will say that I didn't overly like the editing/camera work, though that's pretty much only early on as it becomes less noticeable as the film ticks by. That's the only real negative that I have. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 10/02/23 Full Review Louis g It's not a storyline I can relate to, but Sonja and Mads' performances are a must-see as they fall forbidden in a complicated situation. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 11/13/22 Full Review isla s This isn't exactly the most 'fun' or enjoyable watch but it features what I felt were authentic emotions. Its fairly dreary, a little bleak and it has the visual look of a budget/low priced film that could have been filmed on a reasonably cheap handheld camera for the most part. It's very much a film that focusses on frustration. A reasonable film that's worth a watch overall I'd say, yes, just about, although the raw element of it may not appeal to all. It certainly isn't a feel-good film in any way. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review andrey k Genuine emotions and superb acting. I'd call it an expert european acting. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member One of the best anti love stories ever made. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member I have seen so many Dogme films but I can wholeheartedly say that Open Hearts "Elsker dig for evigt" (2002) is my favorite and the closest to my heart. Cecilie (Sonja Ritcher) is a cook in her early twenties who is deeply in love with and also recently engaged to Joachim (Nikolaj Lie Kaas). Their relationship is put to test when Joachim becomes paralyzed for life after a car accident. The woman who was driving the car (Paprika Steen) feels obliged to help the couple and pushes her husband Niels (Mads Mikkelsen) to comfort Cecilie, unaware of the devastating outcome.. Niels falls in love with Cecilie. The thing about Dogme films is that they are capable of putting you in a very close position to the characters, almost in a crude way. Susanne Bier uses this honesty to gently place us inside the most closed space: the human psyche. Open Hearts does not just slam you with naked reality and intimate details - it does not want to shock you like most Dogme films, it takes you gently by the hand and allows you the same amount of confusion and indeterminateness the characters are feeling. And it does that equally; you can never blame any of the four protagonists even in their lowest moments because it is raw human emotions they are showing and simultaneously you are experiencing. The film could leave you melancholic or hopeful, it depends on how you see it, but what I am well sure of is that it will give you no closure, no answers, no relief of any kind - and this is so heartbreaking, just like life itself. It puts you in direct contact with the awful/beautiful fact that despite its intensity and realness sometimes, all the spectrum of human emotions is transient. My eyes teared up at the end of the film, not because I felt sorry for anyone or anything, but because I felt betrayed by the film's stark honesty. I wanted an ending to this emotional mess I have witnessed/experienced and instead I was left clueless and disillusioned in the middle of nowhere. Okay, enough with this subjective philosophical rambling. Let's talk about some technical aspects. Although Bier breaks away with some of the Dogme rules, I thought the use of Super-8 camera to show short fantasy sequences is a brilliant touch to take you a few steps away from reality and bring you even closer to the characters. Anders Thomas Jensen's script is gripping and flows effortlessly even when characters do not say a word, which leads us to the carefully chosen and amazing cast. I personally think that a great deal of the genius of the performance in this film comes from Bier herself and the kind of free yet intimate atmosphere she has provided for her actors. She does not aim at getting the best angles or making them look attractive, she only allows them the freedom to be themselves no matter how that would look like. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Cecilie (Sonja Richter) and Joachim (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) are engaged to be married, when tragedy strikes: Joachim is the victim of a car crash that robs him of the use of his legs. While at the hospital tending to Joachim, Cecilie meets Niels (Mads Mikkelsen), a doctor working there. As she leans on him for moral support, she discovers that his wife was responsible for Joachim's accident. The revelation doesn't stop their affair, which throws both their lives into upheaval.
      Director
      Susanne Bier
      Producer
      Peter Aalbæk Jensen
      Screenwriter
      Susanne Bier, Anders Thomas Jensen
      Distributor
      Newmarket Film Group
      Production Co
      Zentropa Entertainments
      Rating
      R (Sexuality|Language)
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      Danish
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Feb 21, 2003, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jul 26, 2020
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $122.3K
      Runtime
      1h 53m
      Sound Mix
      Dolby Stereo, Dolby SR, Dolby A, Surround
      Aspect Ratio
      Academy (1.33:1)