Okay Review

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A tough thirtysomething woman faces the trials of life unbowed.


Essentially expanding on the role she played in Open Hearts (the thirtysomething wife whose personal trauma tempts her frustrated spouse into infidelity), Paprika Steen turns in a wholly convincing display of manipulative insensitivity and uneasy affection in this derivative, but otherwise involving, Danish melodrama.

Director Jesper W. Nielsen draws on Mike Leigh's mix of sardonic wit and social acuity, with Steen's well-meaning control freakery recalling Alison Steadman.

Her relationship with dying father Ole Ernst is disconcerting, as they try to rationalise a lifetime's antipathy. Subplots concerning husband Troels Lyby's fling with one of his students and gay brother Nicolaj Kopernikus siring a child for a couple of lesbians feel formulaic and forced respectively, while the ending might have been slightly less cosy.

A 'convenient' ending that splices together the variuos subplots feel forced but this an otherwise engaging drama.