Injury, Love, “Open Hearts”

With her penetrating eyes Sonja Richter gives not a good but a great performance in Open Hearts (2002), from Denmark, as a woman whose fiance is shockingly injured by a passing car before she is all but flatly rejected by the bitter man. The woman finds solace in the supportive doctor (an effective Mads Mikkelsen) whose wife, it so happens, was driving the deadly car. (She is played thoughtfully and interestingly by Paprika Steen). An affair begins between Richter’s character and the doctor.

Harrowing contingency, the fight against one’s own vulnerability, generosity in love—these are the themes of this well-wrought movie directed and co-written by Susanne Bier. Open Hearts is not its proper title, however. The Danish title, Elsker Dig For Evigt, means “Love You Forever.” Okay. But I cannot avoid asking a question: Here, who loves who forever?

(In Danish with English subtitles)

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