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Open Hearts Review

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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.