A Second Chance (En chance til)

Directed by Susanne Bier
Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen,  Maria Bonnevie and Nikolaj Lie Kaas
In UK Cinemas March 20th, 2015

by Joanna Orland

Danish director Susanne Bier’s thriller A Second Chance defies all odds by being completely predictable yet remarkably gripping.  Contrived in its plot, tense performances and solid directing make this film worth the watch.  From practically the opening scene, the audience is fully aware of what plot is about to unfold, and what moral questions we will need to debate.

Danish policeman Andreas (Coster-Waldau) is a new father and as the strong foreshadowing implies, this will not be the case for long.  Indeed, something happens to his baby and he ends up swapping his son’s body for that of a junkie’s baby as he feels that this particular criminal has no right to have a child to only neglect it.

As it is obvious where the plot is going, it is quite the feat that A Second Chance is still as watchable as it is.  A strong performance by Coster-Waldau in particular helps to build the tension in this film.  Later in the film the predictability of plot twists do become even more contrived as Bier is shamelessly making the point that we have no right to judge who deserves to be a parent and who doesn’t.  Nonetheless, this film is enthralling from start to finish.

With its predictable baby-swapping storyline and moral debate on the right to raise a child, A Second Chance deserves at least a first.

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