Family members gather round a matriarch to powerful effect in Silent Heart, an intimate family drama that explores the issue of assisted dying. Oscar-winner Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror) explores the dynamics of an ordinarily family in an extraordinary situation.

Played to perfection by a superbly directed cast, Silent Heart is set in a country pad on an isolated island. Esther (Ghita Nørby, a grand dame of Danish cinema) is ill and, having chosen New Year to say goodbye, she and doctor husband (Morten Grunwald) have gathered her family around her. They are daughters Heidi and Sanne; their partners Michael and Dennis; and Heidi’s son Jonathan. Heidi (Paprika Steen) has decided to stop making judgments (she will fail miserably), Sanne (Danica Curcic) is popping pills, while Dennis (Pilou Asbæk – A Hijacking) repeatedly puts his foot in it.

Brought to life by a cast alert to every nuance, Silent Heart skewers and sympathises with each of its characters as their preoccupations threaten to spoil Esther’s final party.

Jonathan Holland
The Hollywood Reporter


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