Another Round is an unusual and fairly engrossing dark comedy film about a
professor who wants to clinically test a theory put forth by a Norwegian
philosopher (get this) that people were born with too little alcohol in their
veins. He and his colleagues want to prove that moderate alcohol consumption
(0.5) can stimulate creativity and make the subject more relaxed. But of course,
the experiment cannot stay in those boundaries of consumption and as they
increase the dosage (all in the name of science of course) the experiment takes
a toll on all the subjects and threatens to destroy their lives.
The film has received quite a bit of critical acclaim. It was nominated for a
Golden Globe for best Motion Picture Foreign Language and it was selected as the
Danish entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards,
making the short list of 17 films. In addition, it won both the Chicago Film
Critics’ Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards for best foreign film.
As expected the film received an Oscar nomination for best International Film,
but some were surprised that the film’s director, Thomas Vinterberg also
received a nomination for best director.
Although it was originally shown in the US in 2020, its release in theatres and
streaming was delayed because of Covid and it is being considered by most
critics as a 2021 film.
The director Thomas Vinterberg is probably best known for his film, Celebration
(1998), his first English language film, Far From the Maddening Crowd (2015),
and The Commune (2016) which was based on Vinterberg’s youth living in an
autonomous collective. He also helped co-found , Dogma 95 along with the always
controversial, Lars Von Trier. The movement was extremely influential in
cinematic Avant Garde circles.
The group created a list of rules to follow or ideals called the “vow of
chastity” that group members were supposed to abide by. It was an attempt to
"take back power for the directors as artists" away from the studios, and
members tried to avoid the use of elaborate special effects or technology or
big-name actors. Since then most of the members have drifted away from strictly
following these rules.
Another Round,” is the second feature on which Vinterberg has worked with his
countryman, Mads Mikkelsen. In “The Hunt” (2012), Mikkelsen had the role of a
kindergarten teacher who falsely charged of being a pedophile.
In the new movie, he is Martin, a high-school history teacher who is correctly
accused of being an alcoholic. This occurs because he is part of a controlled
group experiment in which the members test the effects of alcohol on themselves.
When Martin’s son finds his drunk dad asleep blasted out of his mind, Martin
nonchalantly responds, “Well I got a little drunk yesterday,” and his son who is
surprisingly non-plussed says: “ But Dad, you’ve been drunk for a while, haven’t
Martin is joined in his efforts by three coworkers, Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen) who
is a coach; Nikolj (Magnus Millang) who is a psychology teacher, and Peter (Lars
Ranthe) who teaches music. At first the experiment goes surprisingly well,
Martin loosens up in the classroom and announces later to his friends, “I
haven’t felt this good in ages.” But he also starts to make bad judgment calls
and advises a student to drink before a test to help with his nerves. Seeing
underage kids drink does not sit well with the rest of the faculty
Of course, at least some of the men get increasingly out of control and one of
them spirals towards a bad end. Although “Another Round” is mostly filled with
angst and gloom, it is not completely dark, and there is a glorious off kilter
dance sequence involving one of the profs that captures a sense of unstrained
joy which is infectious.
There is a certain amount of predictability in the storyline, but the film is so
packed with good dialogue, effective dark comedy, and top notch acting that it
is worth making a special effort to seek it out.