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A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
For more about The Hunt and the The Hunt Blu-ray release, see the The Hunt Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on April 14, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
» See full cast & crew
The Hunt Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, April 14, 2013
Winner of Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's "Jagten" a.k.a "The Hunt" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Films. The supplemental feature on this release is an original theatrical trailer for the film. In Danish, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
The entire film is set in a small Danish town where there are virtually no secrets. Here people lead quiet lives and try to help each other as much as they can. Occasionally there are arguments, typically between drunk friends, but things very quickly get back to normal.
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen, A Royal Affair, Flame and Citron) is in his early forties and living alone. He has recently parted ways with his wife and started rebuilding his life. His new job at the local nursery is far from perfect, but he is pleased with it because it lets him pay the bills. Lucas is also pleased that he has been able to resume his communication with his teenage son, Marcus, who has been forced to live with his mother.
Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport, Persona non grata), who is also single and working in the nursery, likes Lucas. She approaches him and the two become lovers. Nadja wants more from her relationship with Lucas but understands that he needs time to effectively redirect his life.
Five-year-old Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) also likes Lucas. She is one of his pupils and the daughter of his best friend, (Thomas Bo Larsen). Eventually, she also approaches Lucas and surprises him by giving him a gift and a kiss. But after he gently returns the gift and tells her that kisses are only for Mom and Dad, Klara informs the principal (Susse Wold) that she has seen his penis. Seriously concerned, the principal confronts Lucas privately, and then invites a child psychologist to further deconstruct Klara's confession. Eventually, the police are also informed and Lucas is promptly arrested.
Thomas Vinterberg's latest film reminds of French director Vincent Garenq's Présumé coupable a.k.a Presumed Guilty. Both films tell stories about innocent men whose lives are irreversibly damaged. Both films also ask some very important questions that stay with the viewer long after the final credits roll.
Garenq's film, however, chronicles a true story, one that is universally considered to be the greatest French legal scandal in living memory. Unsurprisingly, in it a great deal of attention is given to the actual legal proceedings. Vinterberg's film is structured differently – it is very subdued and atmospheric, valuing silence as much as words. The focus of attention in it is exclusively on the main protagonist's gradual isolation and his community's unjust condemnation.
The paranoia that fuels the hatred in Vintenberg's film is incredibly disturbing. As Lucas is slowly abandoned by his colleagues and friends, one is reminded of the infamous medieval witch hunts.
Mikkelsen's Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival is well deserved. In one of the film's most powerful sequences he goes to the local church where people have gathered to celebrate Christmas. He sits alone and listens to the children's choir. Then he slowly turns around and looks at his best friend. The anger, the pain, the desperation. It is all there, all in a single look.
Lensed with the Arri Alexa Plus camera, The Hunt looks notably vivid and crisp. Even the darker footage from the forest boasts outstanding depth. The film was lensed by cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen, who also collaborated with Vintenberg on the equally impressive Submarino.
The Hunt Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MEPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080/50i transfer, Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow Films.
Shot with the Arri Alexa Plus camera, The Hunt looks mighty impressive on Blu-ray. The high-definition transfer is encoded in 1080/50i, but it actually contains progressive frames. This means that there is absolutely no motion-judder whatsoever. To be clear, this is essentially a solid progressive transfer "locked" inside a 1080/50i encode.
Detail is simply astonishing. During close-ups and larger panoramic shots even extremely small objects are very easy to see. When daylight is not prevalent, depth is also fantastic (see screencapture #3). Sharpness levels are also very impressive, but there isn't even a whiff of artificial sharpening. Color are exceptionally rich yet very natural. Additionally, there are no purely transfer specific anomalies, such as banding and aliasing patterns. There are no serious stability issues to report in this review either. All in all, this is a fantastic presentation that should please enormously fans of The Hunt. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
The Hunt Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Danish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Danish LPCM 2.0. For the record, Arrow Films have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they split the image frame and the black bar below it.
The lossless 5.1 opens up the film very well in all the right places. This does not mean that there is an impressive amount of surround movement; rather that there is a very good range of nuanced dynamics that provide select sequences with very pleasing depth. Casual sounds and noises are also enhanced very well. (See the hunt at the end of the film). The dialog is always exceptionally crisp, stable, and very easy to follow. The English translation is excellent.
The Hunt Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Hunt Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt is a masterful film, truly impossible to forget. Mads Mikkelsen, who recently also appeared in the terrific A Royal Affair, is tremendous in it. It will be such a shame if North American distributors ignored The Hunt as it is one of the very best films to be released theatrically in 2012. If you could play Region-B "locked" discs, adding this one to your collections should be a top priority. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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The Hunt Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt to Represent Denmark at the Oscars - September 26, 2013
Denmark has selected director Thomas Vinterberg's drama Jagten a.k.a The Hunt to represent it at the 86th Academy Awards. The film stars Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen and Annika Wedderkopp. Last year, The Hunt won Best Actor Award (Mads Mikkelsen), Vulcain Prize ...
• Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt Gets UK Release Date - November 22, 2012
Arrow Film have revealed that they are planning to bring to Blu-ray Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's drama Jagten a.k.a The Hunt (2012), starring Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen and Annika Wedderkopp. The preliminary release date set by the distributors is ...
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