Movie review of “A War”: Tobias Lindholm is back with another Oscar-nominated Danish drama set in Afghanistan, where a Danish commander is forced to make tough decisions. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 4.
Tobias Lindholm, who made the riveting Oscar-nominated “A Hijacking” in 2012, is back with another Oscar-nominated Danish drama, “A War,” which could provide an upset at the Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 28.
Danish films sometimes score in the best foreign-language category (“Babette’s Feast,” “Pelle the Conqueror,” “In a Better World”), and this one is timely, powerful and disturbing in its implications.
It begins as a standard combat story, set in Afghanistan, where a Danish commander (Pilou Asbæk) is forced to make tough decisions. Then it switches to Denmark, where his wife (Tuva Novotny) and children wait out the war and hope for the best. Then it’s back to the front and an unfortunate military decision.
Movie Review ★★★½
‘A War,’ with Pilou Asbæk, Tuva Novotny. Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm. 116 minutes. Rated R for language and some war-related images. In English and Danish, with English subtitles. Guild 45th.
Rough and chaotic, the combat scenes leave you wondering exactly what has happened, and that seems entirely intentional on Lindholm’s part. As the script shifts to a courtroom, a debate about collateral damage takes over. It’s intense without becoming simplistic, and the actors stay focused as the viewpoints shift.
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Asbæk is especially strong as the tormented central character, who is both responsible and a hapless study in survivor’s guilt.