Another Round

Another Round ★★★½

Another Round was pitched to me as a comedy, but I wasn't ready for a full blown existential crisis.

Alcohol, the great social lubricant, is at the center of Thomas Vinterburg's middle-aged dramedy. Whisky, beer, scotch, wine. These are the double-edged companions in Martin's journey to cure his midlife malaise.

It's all in the name of science, at least that's how it begins for Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) and his fellow high school teachers. But to dismiss Another Round as an advocacy for casual daytime drinking misses the existential ennui that the film comically, but respectfully, explores. At least, initially.

Another Round ends up going through predictable motions in its second half, but the sensitivity of Vinterburg's direction and his cast's performances elevate the script above its banal trappings. What should've been a Hollywood trash-comedy starring Jason Sudeikis is transformed into a sincere ode to youth headlined by the magnificent Mads Mikkelsen.

I'm not one to weigh in on whether Another Round deserved its Oscar win. But in a year that saw the world suffer through its own existential crisis, I think there's something to be said about giving the award to a film where middle-class white men struggle with middle-aged malaise. But maybe the Academy simply didn't have the taste for the dour reality of Collective (2019) or Quo vadis, Aida (2020).

But maybe it's because Another Round is a film about hope. Naive, sentimental, hope. And that's what Martin, his friends, and we need sometimes. As they try to reignite the fire of their glory days, they are forced to confront the reality that such energy is now left to younger generations. We can never return to our youth but we can at least drink to it.

Block or Report

Zig liked these reviews