The Lady of Hamre

Murky and melodramatic, "The Lady of Hamre" unfolds on a farm in 1900 and centers on a middle-aged woman forced into marriage with an oafish man she doesn't love. Although it matches the bleak mood of the drama, the washed-out video look hampers the film. Commercial prospects look doubtful.

Murky and melodramatic, “The Lady of Hamre” unfolds on a farm in 1900 and centers on a middle-aged woman forced into marriage with an oafish man she doesn’t love. Although it matches the bleak mood of the drama, the washed-out video look hampers the film. Commercial prospects look doubtful.

Bodil Jorgensen portrays the titular lady, Bente, whose family has long owned the once-prosperous Hamre farm. Her dying father’s last request is that she marry Gorm (Bjarne Henriksen), a hard-drinking, womanizing bully, in order to annul a family debt. The marriage is a disaster from the start. Meanwhile, Bente’s younger sister embarks on what proves to be an equally unhappy marriage to a mother-fixated coward. With its drab characters, stolid plotting and contrived happy ending, the film fails on just about every level, though Jorgensen does her best to make the beleaguered protagonist an interesting one.

The Lady of Hamre

(DENMARK)

Production: A Zentropa Entertainment S3 production, in association with TV2 (Denmark), Scanbox Entertainment. (International sales: Trust Film Sales, Hvidorvre, Denmark.) Produced by Ib Tardini. Directed by Katrine Wiedemann. Screenplay, Vinca Wiedemann, based on a novel by Morten Korchs. Camera (color), Morten Soborg; editor, Mette Zeruneith; production designer, Jette Lehmann. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 16, 2000. Original title: Fruen per Hamre. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Bodil Jorgensen, Bjarne Henriksen, Rikke Louise Andersson, Nikolaj Kopernikus, Bodil Lassen, Regitze Estrup, Tommy Kenter, Solbjorg Hojfeldt, Finn Nielsen.

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