After the Wedding

After the Wedding

Promotional poster for After the Wedding
Directed by Susanne Bier
Produced by Sisse Graum Olsen
Written by Susanne Bier
Anders Thomas Jensen
Starring Mads Mikkelsen
Sidse Babett Knudsen
Music by Johan Söderqvist
Cinematography Morten Søborg
Edited by Pernille Bech Christensen
Morten Højbjerg
Distributed by Nordisk Film (DK)
Soda Pictures (UK)
IFC Films (US)
Release dates
24 February 2006
United Kingdom:
9 March 2007
United States:
30 March 2007
Running time
120 minutes
Country Denmark
Box office $11.6 million[1]

After the Wedding (Danish: Efter brylluppet) is a 2006 Danish drama directed by Susanne Bier, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Sidse Babett Knudsen. The film was a critical and popular success and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but lost out to The Lives of Others.


Jacob Petersen manages an Indian orphanage. With a small staff, he works as hard as he can to keep the orphanage afloat, and is personally invested in the young charges - in particular, Pramod, a young boy Jacob has cared for since the boy's birth. The orphanage has been in danger of collapse for eight years and faces bankruptcy. A Danish corporation offers a substantial donation to maintain the orphanage, with the caveat that Jacob return to Denmark (where he grew up) to personally receive the funds. Apparently the CEO, Jørgen Hannson, wishes to meet Jacob.

Pramod is upset when he learns that Jacob must travel to Copenhagen, and is insistent that Jacob return for Pramod's birthday, which is in eight days. Jacob departs for Denmark; once there, he is greeted by a driver and a young man named Christian, and is checked into a luxurious suite, paid for by the corporation.

When Jacob meets with Jørgen, Jørgen says he is still considering which project to fund. This surprises Jacob, who had understood that the decision was already made. Jørgen's daughter Anna is to marry Christian and Jørgen invites Jacob to the wedding. During the ceremony Jørgen's wife Helene notices Jacob. They are formally introduced during the reception, though both of them have recognized each other. She was the love of Jacob's life, but he was unfaithful with her best friend, and they broke up twenty years prior.

During Anna's speech at the marriage festivities, Jacob learns that she is not the biological daughter of Jørgen. His suspicion that she might be his daughter is confirmed by Helene the next day. Jacob is angry to have only learned of his daughter after two decades. Helene claims that they had tried to track him down in India but were unsuccessful. She is compelled to tell Anna of Jacob now; the two meet and get along well, if slightly awkwardly.

Jørgen stalls the negotiations relating to funding, which distresses Jacob because of his promise to return for Pramod's birthday. Jacob attempts to explain the situation to a disappointed Pramod, who cuts their telephone call short. Jørgen discloses that he will create a foundation in Jacob's and Anna's name and fund it with a large sum of money. One of the conditions of the contract, would be that Jacob must live in Denmark.

Jacob initially finds himself unable to comply, because he is thinking of Pramod and the other children who have been part of his life for so long. He also resents the implication that he could be bought by Jørgen.

When Jacob storms out, Jørgen runs after him and admits the real motivation: Jørgen is terminally ill and will soon die. Jørgen had brought Jacob to Denmark so he could care for Anna and Helene, as well as Morten and Martin, Jørgen's twin sons. Angered at this deception, Jacob hastily leaves for his hotel room. Later, Anna arrives distressed because she has just discovered Christian with another woman. Jacob comforts her, realizing his need for her in his life. He signs the contract with Jørgen with the conditions intact.

Jørgen dies. On Jacob's next visit to India, construction work at the orphanage is well underway. Jacob asks Pramod if he would like to come to Denmark to live with him, but partly because Jacob used to rail against the rich, Pramod decides to stay in his home country.



The film premiered in Denmark on 24 February 2006.[2][3] The film had its North American premiere as a gala at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival[4] on September 15, 2006.[3] The film opened in wide release in the United Kingdom on 9 March 2007. It opened in limited release in the United States on March 30, 2007.[3][5][6]


Critical response

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 86% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 95 reviews.[7]

Time magazine's Richard Schickel named the film one of the Top 10 Movies of 2007, ranking it at #4, calling it a "dark, richly mounted film". While Schickel saw the film as possibly "old-fashioned stylistically, and rather manipulative in its plotting", he also saw "something deeply satisfying in the way it works out the fates of its troubled, yet believable characters."[8]


  • Academy Awards
    • Best Foreign Language Film (nominated)
  • Bodil Awards
    • Best Supporting Actress (Fischer Christensen, won)
    • Best Film (Bier, nominated)
    • Best Actor (Lassgård, nominated)
    • Best Actress (Knudsen, nominated)
  • European Film Awards
    • Best Actor (Mikkelsen, nominated)
    • Best Director (Bier, nominated)
  • Festroia International Film Festival
    • Jury Special Prize (Bier, won)
    • Best Actor (Lassgård, won)
  • Film by the Sea International Film Festival
    • Audience Award (Bier, won)
  • Robert Awards
    • Best Supporting Actress (Fischer Christensen, won)
    • Best Actor (Mikkelsen, nominated)
    • Best Actress (Knudsen, nominated)
    • Best Cinematography (Søborg, nominated)
    • Best Costume Design (Manon Rasmussen, nominated)
    • Best Editor (Bech Christensen and Højbjerg, nominated)
    • Best Film (Bier and Jørgensen, nominated)
    • Best Make-Up (Charlotte Laustsen, nominated)
    • Best Screenplay, Original (Jensen, nominated)
    • Best Sound (Eddie Simonsen and Kristian Eidnes Andersen, nominated)
    • Best Supporting Actor (Lassgård, nominated)
  • Rouen Nordic Film Festival
    • Best Actress (Knudsen, won)

See also


External links

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