Nursery school teacher Lucas (Mikkelsen), recently divorced and living check-by-jowl in a village comprised of his close friends, suddenly finds that same world turning on him when rumours of child abuse start to spread.
Festen director Thomas Vinterberg returns to the subject of sexual abuse with the story of Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a nursery teacher who becomes the victim of a witch-hunt when one of his pupils accuses him of inappropriate behaviour. Cut adrift in a sea of suspicion, Lucas is unable to prove his innocence, even to those he’s known all his life. Mikkelsen won in Cannes for his quietly affecting portrayal of an ordinary man on the wrong end of a devastating accusation, suggesting with chilling plausibility that there are still crimes for which one is considered guilty until proven innocent.
Beautifully performed and tough as nails, Vinterberg's social drama could not be any more timely.
Reviewed by David Hughes