A War | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated R · 115 minutes · 2016

Drama, War
Denmark’s nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar overflows with potentially fascinating ideas, but can’t avoid the temptation to try covering all of them. For the first half, it alternates between two perspectives: In Afghanistan, Claus Pedersen (Pilou Asbæk) leads a group of Danish soldiers in dangerous territory; back at home, his wife Maria (Tuva Novotny) struggles with parenting their three children, including their increasingly volatile oldest son, without him. Each of those stories holds dramatic potential, and the reality of people feeling inadequate to their responsibilities, but juxtaposing them creates the awkward sense that writer/director Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking) wants Maria’s challenges to be seen as equally hard. The second hour shifts to Claus facing charges for one of his decisions in the field, but the potential morality play—Does Claus’s role as father supersede his role as soldier, and can both Claus and Maria live with the consequences of trying to dodge the truth?—gets lost in the rudimentary courtroom drama. A narrative that could have excelled at emphasizing no-win choices suffers from a filmmaker who needed to make more hard choices himself.
Staff Rating:
Official Site: www.magpictures.com/awar
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Producer: Rene Ezra, Tomas Radoor, Henrik Zein, Lena Haugaard, Ron Halpern and Olivier Courson
Cast: Pilou Asbæk, Tuva Novotny, Søren Malling, Charlotte Munck, Dar Salim, Dulfi Al-Jabouri and Alex Andersen

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