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#TIFF20 Review: Another Round (Special Presentations)

September 14, 2020

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

The latest collaboration between Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mads Mikkelsen, following their Oscar-nominated 2012 drama The Hunt, Another Round is a well acted film about drinking and the impact, both good and bad, that alcohol can have on people’s lives.

Martin (Mikkelsen) is a high school history teacher in Denmark who has lost his edge, which has led to complaints from his students that he isn’t teaching the material thoroughly enough. While out for dinner with three of his colleagues, Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe) and Nikolaj (Magnus Millang), they get to talking about the Norwegian philosopher Finn Skårderud, and his hypothesis that people have a 0.05% deficiency of alcohol in their blood.

Skårderud’s belief is that people are at optimum performance level when drinking just enough to make up that amount, prompting Martin and his colleagues to conduct an experiment of their own. Each of the men will drink throughout the day to keep their blood alcohol level at exactly 0.05%, while following Ernest Hemingway’s rules to never drink after eight in the evening or on weekends. And lo and behold, the experiment actually sort of works at first.

Martin’s classes become rousing celebrations of drunken men throughout history, including Winston Churchill whom he theorizes was drunk while winning the war, and he seems more engaged at home as well. But there are also dire consequences. Vinterberg has described the film as a sort of ode to alcohol, and while he doesn’t completely shy away from showing the potentially dangerous aspects of it either, I’m also not sure how deep the film really goes.

At first, it admittedly seems a bit vapid and shallow, and the moral of the film amounts to a fairly predictable “alcohol is fine until it’s not” message. But as Another Round goes along, it develops into a more engaging study of middle aged men looking for an escape from the monotony of their lives, and perhaps to relive their youth, through the bottle. The film features some great drunk acting from its ensemble cast, with Mikkelsen delivering a characteristically solid performance. The results are entertaining and a bit horrifying, building towards a memorable final scene.

Mads Mikkelsen in Another Round

Public Screenings:

Saturday, September 12th – 9:00 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Saturday, September 12th – 9:15 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Sunday, September 13th – 12:00 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Sunday, September 13th – 6:00 PM at Bell Digital Cinema (Online for 24 Hours)

Saturday, September 19th – 12:00 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

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