It’s easy to see why Paprika Steen won an best-actress award for her role in Applause, the Danish movie about a (sometimes) recovering alcoholic actress named Thea. Steen gives us charm, optimism, arrogance, sadness, contempt, anger, hopelessness and self-loathing, all displayed on her sometimes beautiful, sometimes careworn and haggard face. Michael Falch as her ex-husband shows us all the love, compassion, suspicion, frustration and anger that the people around someone like Thea experience, but there’s a reason why people like Thea end up living alone: the rest of us can’t bear to witness their pain, deception and denial or be the brunt of their anger. So would I recommend this movie? Sure. Would I watch it again. Not for a long time.
A word about the subtitles: white doesn’t work, especially for a Danish film where there’s bound to be bright white scenes. Bright yellow clashes with almost everything else in any movie, but it’s a treat for the viewers.