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The girl with the needle

A film by Magnus von Horn

With: Vic Carmen Sonne, Trine Dyrholm, Besir Zeciri, Joachim Fjelstrup, Tessa Hoder, Ava Knox Martin, Ari Alexander, Søren Sætter-Lassen, Agnieszka Przyborowska-Mitrosz, Magnus von Horn

Karoline, a young factory worker, finds herself abandoned and pregnant while striving to climb out of poverty in post WW1 Copenhagen. Amidst her struggles, she meets Dagmar, a charismatic woman running a hidden adoption agency within a candy store, helping poor mothers in finding foster homes for their unwanted children.

Had #thegirlwiththeneedle been scripted by a Netflix ai, it would hardly surprise us. It screams, it even howls, it suffers, it moans, summoning monsters and witches and a young girl with matches and a needle. The whole enterprise is reminiscent of American films from the ’30s to the ’50s, with the staging and black-and-white wrapping it all up in festival style (wrapping paper that camouflages the imperfections that color would have dreamed up), but the abuse of dramatic, particularly sudden twists – to provoke a twist effect so typical of genre cinema and netflix productions – is done to the total detriment of any psychological realism. The resulting view is brutal and lacking in finesse… As Céline used to say, “there are plenty of stories to go around, but what really counts is style”. In this case, however, when it comes to style, or talent, what stands out is more the work of a copyist (or maker) than an accomplished artist.

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