After his wife paralyses a young man in a car accident, a Danish doctor begins an affair with the victim's fiancee.
Almost all the Dogme movies have used their technique to add something to the storytelling, and Open Hearts is no exception.
At first glance, the plot seems to contain a month's worth of soap opera histrionics - after his wife paralyses a young man in a car accident, a Danish doctor begins an affair with the victim's fiancee - but the camera style tames the melodrama.
Using stark, hand-held images and eschewing a musical score, director Susanne Bier is never guilty of manipulating her audience; instead she leaves the way open for a much more affecting emotional truth to emerge.
As the love affair grows more serious, the fallout on family and friends evolves into a complex knot of jealousy, guilt and fear.
Exceptionally honest and strikingly unsentimental, this is a rare film that treats its audience and characters with respect.