Shortly before Sarah's husband Michael is presumed KIA while on a peacekeeping mision in Afghanistan, his brother Jannik is released from prison. Jannik discovers responsibility and helps Sarah, but Michael is not dead.
Connie Nielsen returns to her homeland for this downbeat Danish family drama. She ditches the glam to play wife and mother Sarah, whose loving military-man husband Michael (Thomsen) is suddenly whisked off for some UN work in Afghanistan - just after his no-good brother, Jannik (Kaas), is released from prison. When Michael's helicopter is shot down, he's reported as KIA, shattering Sarah's domestic contentment. It's left to Jannik to discover responsibility and help her pick up the pieces; while back in Afghanistan, a distinctly not-dead Michael deals with his own brutal incarceration.
It all sounds rather soapy and melodramatic, but director Susanne Bier, assisted by an able cast, ensures the traumas are painfully realistic and subtly observed, cleverly portraying Michael's return as an even more fractious event than the news of his death.
What could have been soapy and melodramatic is kept in line by an adherance to realism by an able cast and director.