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HomeReview‘The Girl With The Needle’: Cannes Review

‘The Girl With The Needle’: Cannes Review

Dir. Magnus von Horn. Denmark/Poland/Sweden, 2024. 115 minutes.

Even the Grimm Brothers can be challenged to drag one thing extra malevolent out of the pot than Magnus von Horn’s The Woman With The Needle, impressed by true occasions which occurred in Copenhagen following the tip of the First World Struggle. “The world is a horrible place,” is the over-riding, and overtly said, message of this disturbing quasi-fable a couple of determined younger lady and undesirable infants. Two unrelentingly fascinating performances from Vic Carmen Sonne and Trine Dyrholm, and an beautiful black-and-while aesthetic which strikes from leering vaudeville to one thing filthier and shameful, command consideration.

Unrelentingly fascinating performances from Vic Carmen Sonne and Trine Dyrholm

A darkish war-torn world being so convincingly terrible is maybe not the surest footing for a movie within the market at this explicit time in geopolitics. But an incredible breakthrough efficiency from Carmen Sonne (Godland) is definitely a entrance runner for Finest Actress at Cannes, the place The Woman With The Needle competes. That may assist this Nordisk-financed, Match Manufacturing facility-sold manufacturing, which might additionally depend on vital respect. When it comes time for awards, on the very least at house in Denmark, it ought to dominate in technical classes. The Woman With The Needle is the kind of movie that makes stars of its contributors whereas remaining a particular style in itself.

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Competing for the primary time in Cannes along with his personal screenplay (co-written with Line Langebeck), von Horn invitations viewers on a tricky, practically two-hour journey with Karoline (Carmen Sonne). He makes no pretence about what’s forward: this Danish-language movie begins with a montage of leering, super-imposed, grotesquely gurning faces, and the sound of a bass observe/horn which may wake the very lifeless from their tiny graves. 

Karoline begins the movie by being evicted from her tenement rooms. She has no cash and her husband Peter (Besir Zeciri) has been lacking within the struggle for a while, though not lengthy sufficient to be declared lifeless and get her a widow’s pension. She works in a stitching manufacturing facility as a machinist making army provides, the place she catches the attention of the proprietor Jorgen (Joachim Fjelstrup). They’ve reckless public intercourse in a again alley, and a pregnant Karoline naively imagines they are going to be married. 

However von Horn has made it clear that that is no fairy story, Jorgen isn’t a knight in shining armour and no one goes to scrub up Copenhagen’s filthy streets for Karoline to stroll throughout in her muddy boots and damaged shoelaces. Jorgen’s Baroness mom sends her packing, and now Karoline is jobless in addition to pregnant. There are lots of needles in The Woman With The Needle: damaged stitching machine needles, knitting needles, needles that ship morphine and a needle Karoline will use to attempt give herself an abortion within the public bathhouse the place she encounters a kindly sweet-seller referred to as Dagmar (Dynolm), who definitely isn’t all she appears.

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Within the meantime, Peter has returned from the struggle and self-imposed isolation, so facially disfigured that he can solely discover work in a freak-show circus. He wears a masks that appears to shift — however then once more, von Horn and DoP Michal Dymek are keen on super-impositions and iris eyes on their in any other case pin-sharp black-and-white canvas. Peter can’t maintain meals in his mouth and dribbles and screams at evening.

Publicity materials surrounding The Woman With The Needle makes it clear that Dagmar is working a child adoption company the place Karoline will work as a moist nurse, but it surely does take a very long time for the movie itself to reach to that time – it might be thought-about a spoiler, given the opposite plot strands swirling round. As soon as the little store of Hansel and Gretel horrors comes into focus, nonetheless, it does dominate the viewer’s consciousness. Dagmar, her ether behavior and her unusual seven-year-old ‘daughter’ Erena (Ava Knox Martin) are unforgettable creations.

However Carmen Sonne, specifically, offers such a nuanced efficiency of an uneducated lady with no choices and no future past what she will carve out along with her personal fingernails. Her face registers clumsy emotion, desperation, innocence and despair, intelligence and stupidity, all flitting by way of just like the clouds that sit over Copenhagen’s Dickensian smokestacks.

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Dymek’s cinematography and the manufacturing design of Jagna Dobesz are standouts, however so is costuming: trustworthy, filthy, a status-signifier, all conveyed in black-and-white with such delicate processes to offers an enormous vary. Shot on 3:2 ratio on Alexa (also called 1:50) – a format borrowed from pictures – the picture is nearly as overwhelming because the predicament of its protagonist. It’s a format you could possibly think about the David Lean of Nice Expectations utilizing, if he had it at hand – this movie is certainly associated. However it’s darkish sufficient to make the plight of Dickens characters appear like sunlit uplands.

Manufacturing firms: Nordisk Movies

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Worldwide gross sales: The Match Manufacturing facility, data@matchfactory.de

Producers: Malene Blenkov, Mariusz Wlodarski

Screenplay: Magnus von Horn, Line Langebek 

Cinematography: Michal Dymek

Manufacturing design: Jagna Dobesz

Enhancing: Agnieszka Glinka

Major solid: Vic Carmen Stone, Trine Dyrholm, Besir Zeciri, Joachim Fjelstrup, Ava Knox Martin, Tessa Hoder




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