The Hunt (2012 film)

The Hunt

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Produced by
Written by
Music by Nikolaj Egelund
Cinematography Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Edited by
  • Anne Østerud
  • Janus Billeskov Jansen
Distributed by Nordisk Film
Release dates
  • 20 May 2012 (2012-05-20) (Cannes)
  • 10 January 2013 (2013-01-10) (Denmark)
Running time
115 minutes[1]
Country Denmark
Language Danish
Budget $3.45 million[2]
Box office $18.3 million[2]

The Hunt (Danish: Jagten) is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen. The story is set in a small Danish village around Christmas, and follows a man who becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child in his kindergarten class.[3][4]

The film was screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and competed at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award for his role.[5][6][7] It also won the 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize. The film was selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards,[8][9] making the final nomination.[10] It was nominated in the same category at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards.[11]


Lucas is a member of a close-knit Danish community and works at a local kindergarten. Divorced, he struggles to maintain a relationship with his teenage son, who lives with his ex-wife, but enjoys wholesome interaction with the children at the kindergarten. His coworker Nadja makes advances towards him and eventually becomes his girlfriend.

One of the kindergarten pupils is Klara, the daughter of Lucas' best friend Theo. She has a crush on Lucas, and one day she puts a heart-shaped ornament into his coat pocket, then gives him a kiss on the lips. After Lucas rebuffs the kiss, Klara's feelings are hurt. Drawing on a memory of a pornographic picture her older brother showed her, she makes comments that lead the kindergarten director to believe Lucas indecently exposed himself to her. When interviewed with leading questions, Klara gives unclear testimony against Lucas. The adults in the community believe the director's story of abuse, dismissing Klara's later contradictions as denial.

Lucas is shunned by the community as a pedophile and sexual predator. His friendship with Theo is destroyed, the pressure causes him to break up with Nadja, and his son is publicly ostracised. The kindergarten staff ask leading questions of the other children at the kindergarten, who also say they were abused. However, the children's accounts mention details of Lucas' basement, which supports Lucas' innocence, as his house has no basement. After a hearing, he is released without charge.

The community is still suspicious of Lucas, however, and the ostracism turns to violence. His dog, Fanny, is killed, a stone is thrown through his window, and he is beaten by grocery store employees when he tries to buy food. On Christmas Eve, Lucas confronts Theo during a public church service. Later, Theo overhears Klara apologizing to Lucas as she drifts off to sleep. His doubts about Lucas' innocence are resolved, and he visits him on Christmas Day with food and alcohol as a peace offering.

A year later, tensions in the community have lessened. Lucas and Nadja are in a relationship again, and Lucas' son is accepted into the local hunting society as an adult. On a hunting expedition to commemorate the event, an unseen person apparently shoots at Lucas and misses him. Blinded by the setting sun, Lucas is unable to identify his attacker, who flees. A moment later the unknown shooter, real or metaphorical,[12] is no longer there.



The film was produced by Zentropa for 20 million Danish kroner. It received co-production support from Sweden's Film i Väst and Zentropa International Sweden. Further support came from the Danish Film Institute, DR, Eurimages, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Swedish Film Institute, Sveriges Television and the MEDIA Programme.[3]


Alexandra Rapaport and Thomas Vinterberg at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

Box office

The Hunt premiered on 20 May 2012 at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, as the first Danish-language film in the main competition since 1998.[3][13] Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at Cannes.[14] Given its estimated $3.8 million budget, the film was a financial success; in total, it earned more than $16 million including $7.9 million in Denmark. In the United States, it was shown in 47 theaters and earned $613,308.[15][16]

Critical response

The film received universal acclaim. It has a "certified fresh" score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 124 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "Anchored by Mads Mikkelsen's sympathetic performance, The Hunt asks difficult questions with the courage to pursue answers head on."[17] The film also has a score of 76 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[18]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards 2 March 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Alliance of Women Film Journalists[19] 19 December 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Thomas Vinterberg Won
British Academy Film Awards 10 February 2013 Best Film not in the English Language Nominated
British Independent Film Awards 9 December 2012 Best Foreign Independent Film Thomas Vinterberg Won
Bodil Awards[20] 1 February 2014 Best Danish Film Won
Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Won
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Bo Larsen Nominated
Lars Ranthe Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Anne Louise Hassing Nominated
Susse Wold Won
Best Cinematography Charlotte Bruus Christensen Won
Cannes Film Festival 27 May 2012 Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Won
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Thomas Vinterberg Won
Vulcan Award Charlotte Bruus Christensen Won
Palme d'Or Thomas Vinterberg Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 16 December 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards 16 January 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society[21] 13 January 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association 16 December 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Satellite Awards 23 February 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
European Film Awards 1 December 2012 Best Film Thomas Vinterberg Nominated
Best Director Thomas Vinterberg Nominated
Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best Screenwriter Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm Won
Best Editor Janus Billeskov Jansen, Anne Østerud Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[11] 12 January 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards 1 March 2014 Best Foreign Film Nominated
International Online Film Critics' Poll 26 January 2015 Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
London Film Critics Circle Awards 20 January 2013 Actor of the Year Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
National Board of Review Awards 4 December 2013 Top Foreign Films Won
Nordic Council Film Prize 30 October 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize Thomas Vinterberg Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards 16 December 2013 Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Robert Award[22] 27 January 2014 Best Danish Film Thomas Vinterberg Won
Best Director Thomas Vinterberg Won
Best Screenplay Thomas Vinterberg,Tobias Lindholm Won
Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Won
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Bo Larsen Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Susse Wold Won
Anne Louise Hassing Nominated
Best Cinematography Charlotte Bruus Christensen Nominated
Best Editor Anne Østerud, Janus Billeskov Jansen Won
Best Production Design Torben Stig Nielsen Nominated
Best Costume Design Manon Rasmussen Nominated
Best Make-Up Bjørg Serup Nominated
Best Original Score Nikolaj Egelund Nominated
Best Sound Kristian Eidnes Andersen, Thomas Jæger Nominated
Audience Award - Best Drama Thomas Vinterberg Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards 16 December 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards[23] 11 December 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association[24] 16 December 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Runner-up
Vancouver International Film Festival 12 October 2012 Rogers People’s Choice Award Thomas Vinterberg Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 9 December 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated

Home media

Nordisk Film released it in Denmark on 10 January 2013.[3] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 7 May 2013.

See also


  1. "Jagten - The Hunt". British Board of Film Classification. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Jagten (2012) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Staff writer (2012-04-19). "Vinterberg til Cannes Festival". (in Danish). Danish Film Institute. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
  4. "The Hunt, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  5. "The Hunt". TIFF. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  6. "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  7. "Cannes Film Festival 2012 line-up announced". timeout. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
  8. "Denmark Selects 'The Hunt' As Foreign Language Oscar Candidate". Deadline. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  9. "Oscars: Denmark Nominates 'The Hunt' for Best Foreign Language Category". Hollywood Report. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  10. "Oscars: Main nominations 2014". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  11. 1 2 "Golden Globes Nominations: The Full List". Variety. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  12. "Mads Mikkaelsen interview". Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  13. "Screenings guide" (PDF). Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-05-19.
  14. "Awards 2012". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
  17. "The Hunt (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  19. "2013 EDA Award Nominess". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  20. "2014 Bodil Awards Nominations". Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  21. Lodge, Guy (10 January 2014). "2013 Denver Film Critics' Society nominations". HitFix. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  22. "The Hunt sweeps Danish Robert awards". 27 January 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  23. "San Diego Film Critics Select Top Films for 2013". Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  24. "TFCA Announces 2013 Awards". Toronto Film Critics Association. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.

External links

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