Michael Noer’s first film was the acclaimed 2010 prison drama R (co-directed with Tobias Lindholm, who appeared at JDIFF 2013), and while Nordvest shares some of that film’s fascination with young men and violence, it is also a convincing crime drama.

Eighteen year-old Caspar (Gustav Dyekjær Giese) is a burglar whose stolen items are sold by tough immigrant traders. Caspar sees the chance of a bigger pay day when he is approached by tough older gangster Björn (the impressive Roland Møller) to steal a few specific items. Making big money for the first time Caspar pampers his family, but makes the mistake of annoying the immigrant gang who assume he is ‘their’ man. With his life spiralling out of control, Caspar is faced with some tough decisions.

Noer co-wrote the script with Rasmus Heisterberg, who wrote the Oscar-nominated A Royal Affair (JDIFF 2013), and turned to two real-life brothers in the leads, Gustav Dyekjær Giese and Oscar Dyekjær Giese. Noer films in an appropriately gritty and intense style, drawing out the sense of community in Nordvest and layering in moments of humour.

Mark Adams
Screen International

‘a compelling portrait of a young man whose moral compass is skewed but not broken’