Set in Denmark’s underbelly, first time writer/director Jeanette Nordahl’s striking Scandi noir follows an impressionable teenage girl who’s placed in the care of an estranged relative (a remarkable Sidse Babett Knudsen), the head of a family crime syndicate.
After losing her mother in a car accident, shy 17-year-old Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp, a major discovery) is taken in by her aunt Bodil (Knudsen) and her three adult sons. Ida hardly knows this brassy, suburban matriarch, but first impressions are that they’re a loving - if dysfunctional - family. It’s not until young Ida learns of the shady nature of the family business that she begins to see through their gestures of affection and concern. Even so, Ida finds herself drawn more and more into their world, and this complicity spurs some overwhelming moral and emotional choices.
Marked by convincing performances (not least Sidse Babett Knudsen, equally malevolent and maternal), Nordahl’s lean and brooding coming of age story grips with suspense. Fiercely intelligent and told with visual panache, it marks the arrival of a fresh new female voice in contemporary cinema.