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The Hunt


This movie had been on my watchlist for quite a while. If I had those movies in order of priority, rather than watching them at random, The Hunt would have been near the top. Netflix mailed it out to me about 8 hours before I learned it was nominated, so obviously I was happy and it was the nomination I most looked forward to. I only knew the general synopsis, but I have noticed the praise it has received the last few years. I was not disappointed.

I don't know if courage is the right word, but I think a filmmaker needs a certain something to make a movie with this kind of subject matter. I think most of us have probably imagined what type of movie we'd make, and I doubt a story revolving around sexual abuse has crept into most of our minds. Most movies dealing with this subject matter are more graphic in some way, and it's a credit to the director for making such an upsetting movie without ever making it exploitive. Of course, this movie has an entirely different take than the usual.

The character of Lucas is introduced as a good man who's down on his luck a little bit. He's a likable guy, and it's nice to see things start to turn around for him until his world gets rocked out of the blue. When Lucas first gets accused, I kind of wondered how realistic his reaction was. My thought was that he'd be flipping out right away. I also wondered about the reactions of everyone else. Yet, there's no playbook for this kind of delicate situation. If you're being accused of something you didn't do, I think the normal reaction would be to attack your accuser. I think that changes dramatically when the accuser is an innocent child. As for the other adults, you have to take a child's word seriously, because if you don't, and you're wrong, it makes a horrible situation worse. It's just such a truly awful situation for everyone involved, and the story was handled masterfully and is so engrossing. Even the last scene, when everything has supposedly gone back to normal, you can sense the residual effects. Lucas will never forget what he had to endure, and the other people will always know what they did to him. Beyond that, I think it would be human nature for some of them to always have some doubt. In fact, I had at least a tiny bit of doubt about his innocence myself. I'm not exactly sure what the very last part with the shooter was meant to signify, or if it was real or imagined.

I've seen the name Mads Mikkelsen mentioned many times on this forum, but this was basically the first time I've seen him in anything. I've seen Casino Royale, but I hardly remember that movie much less his performance. He's an odd looking dude, and I can understand why he was chosen to play Hannibal in that TV series. He was perfectly suited to play Lucas and he was fantastic. In fact, the whole cast was excellent in a film that is reliant on it's performances. It was these performances, along with the story, that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout, and made this movie a new favorite for me.