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Minor Mishaps Review

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A ray of hope emerges for a family beset by problems.

★★★★

Amidst the stylistic brouhaha, it's easy to overlook the service Dogme has performed for the humble ensemble drama by reclaiming it from politicised polemicists and refocusing it on characters whose everyday emotions are under the microscope.

Annette K. Olesen's impeccably performed debut combines the domestic dysfunction of Festen with the geniality of Italian For Beginners.

Yet, as she openly admits, the greatest influence on the wry tone and the improvisational development of interweaving stories was Mike Leigh.

As each member of widower Jurgen Kiil's brood comes to terms with regrets and frustrations, perhaps too much happens to one family too quickly. However, soap operatics are avoided by Olesen's compassion for her characters.

Brave it through the misery-soaked opening period, though, and watch the mood lift as humour creeps into the story and a glimmer of hope appears for the washed-out characters.