The Hunt ★★★½

A film that could have easily tipped into melodrama, The Hunt is a measured and emotional take on a harrowing story, grounded in Nordic sensibilities. There is no denying the fact that this film is a brutal watch - its a really shitty situation that doesn't really have a villain. One of the most frustrating parts of this film is that every acts in a rational and reasonable way and still end up with a super bleak outcome. But I also respected that for how heightened and extreme the situation was, Vinterberg is very restrained in his handling of the content. Even the few flashes of violence are totally underplayed, and have a real matter of fact nature to them.

What elevates The Hunt from being a pretty good small-town drama is of course Mikkelsen. He got a heap of praise for his work here but it is totally deserved - he is a man trying so desperately to keep his life and mind together as it is falling away around him. The look he flashes back in the church is so powerful that they used it for the poster of the film. I also liked the score, which had a particularly Danish tone that really placed the film within its setting. A harrowing watch, but a gripping one that is worth the pain.