Movie review: Another Round

tragicomedy

Another RoundThe premise of the film Another Round involves the lives of four male teachers in Denmark. They have all become rather prosaic in their teaching, and for at least some of them, in their lives.

Perhaps they need to engage in an experiment. Someone noted that Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud claimed that human beings are actually experiencing a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) shortfall of 0.05%. (The legal limit before being intoxicated in NYS is 0.08%.)

Sure enough, small doses of booze make them more creative educators. Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) riffs with imaginative dialogues with his history students about Churchill, FDR, and Hitler, making them think. Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen) becomes an inspired tactician of the elementary school soccer team so that even the least likely player shines.

As social scientists, would it not require them to engage in more analysis to discover the optimum BAC for productivity? Naturally. And eventually, things go awry. It isn’t just the work that had become routine. Early on, Martin asked his wife Trine (Maria Bonnevie), “Have I become boring?”

Best International Feature Film nomination

Another Round is described in Rotten Tomatoes as a comedy/drama or a tragicomedy, and that’s about right. The educators made a pact as though they were teenagers in a buddy movie. And their early success is appealing. Generally speaking, these are engaging characters.

They have been hiding depression and/or a mid-life crisis. I don’t think the movie makes light of the drinking. They do delude themselves, though. “We’re not alcoholics,” says Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) “We decide when we want to drink. An alcoholic can’t help himself.”

Thomas Vinterberg, who also co-wrote the screenplay, was the only Oscar-nominated director this year whose film was NOT nominated for Best Picture. Another Round WAS nominated for Best International Feature Film, formerly Best Foreign Film. The film is in Danish with subtitles. The working title was Drunk, which would have been misleading.

I saw this on Hulu in my desperate dash to see as many films during the free trial as possible. I enjoyed this film, probably more than I expected to.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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