Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
TRASH CINEMA RECOMMENDED MOVIE
For everyone who is tired of the same recycled plots and characters, have I got a movie for you.
In Adam’s Apples, neo-Nazi Adam Pedersen (Ulrich Thomsen) is sentenced to community service at a country church presided over by Ivan (Mads Mikkelsen), a priest who views his life almost exclusively in terms of a war with Satan, who Ivan thinks is determined to undermine his faith. Ivan’s stubborn faith drives Adam bonkers.
What makes Adam’s Apples special is writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen’s dry, offbeat tone and his irreverent use of religion, in this case the story of Job. Jensen’s script for Adam’s Apples is completely devoid of sentimentality, which coupled with the ruthlessly black humor, makes for a very funny movie.
As Ivan, Mads Mikkelsen adds another maddeningly obtuse character to his gallery. Ulrich Thomsen gets a lot of laughs without seeming to do much of anything, which is part of the point. Adam only has a slightly different reaction to seeing someone shot as to the suggestion that he bake an apple pie, a sort of faint surprise, like “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
As usual, Anders Thomas Jensen’s direction is highly professional. He’s slick but always to the point.
Some might resist the extreme nature of Jensen’s characters, but I think the key to the movie is seeing it as a fable. Jensen has attempted this sort of thing before, as in the 2003 movie, The Green Butchers, but this time, he manages to create an excellent balance between drama, black humor, and whimsy. You’re never quite sure if Jensen is kidding or not, but instead of putting off the viewer, this ambiguity creates another layer of hilarity.
Recommended for adventurous viewers.