review

'Queen of Hearts': explores morality without being judgmental

Onze score

Why did Danish director May el-Toukhy name her film about sexual abuse after the queen from Alice in Wonderland? The chance that this question will dominate discussions of the film is minimal. Those discussions will primarily be about #MeToo, inappropriate behaviour, and women as sexual predators. In other words, important and complex topics.

The family drama explores moral questions without ever being judgemental and though it is a noteworthy film, it has difficulty getting to its point. But we must say that the excellent performance by Trine Dyrholm makes two hours fly by.

The Helen Mirren of Denmark plays a self-confident lawyer specialized in rape and child abuse. She lives in a villa with views of an idyllic natural landscape with her husband and twins who like horse-riding. She puts this apparently perfect life on the line by starting a sexual relationship with her 17-year-old stepson who suddenly moves in with them due to unexpected circumstances.

Envy of his youth and the desire for a more exciting life are definitely factors. The boy enjoys the sex but nevertheless becomes a victim of his stepmother’s abuse of the enormous difference in age and power.

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