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Smukke Dreng

A poignant tale of a 13-year-old runaway boy who turns to prostitution to survive, "Pretty Boy" explores a tricky theme with some delicacy. An unaffected performance from Christian Tapdrup, as the youngster, and Carsten Sonder's sensitive direction are pluses.

A poignant tale of a 13-year-old runaway boy who turns to prostitution to survive, “Pretty Boy” explores a tricky theme with some delicacy. An unaffected performance from Christian Tapdrup, as the youngster, and Carsten Sonder’s sensitive direction are pluses.

Nick has left home because (it’s suggested) he hates the men his mother gets involved with. He latches on to Ralph (Stig Hoffmeyer), who lets him stay in his apartment and then seduces him. But when Ralph’s female partner returns, Nick is unceremoniously thrown out.

For a while he lives on the street via his wits and his body, and then he becomes a member of a gang led by the androgynous Renee (Benedicte W. Madsen). After a while, Nick and Renee become lovers, but their happiness is short-lived, and the film ends with a violent confrontation between Nick and Ralph.

This sad little film, obviously produced on a modest budget, is likely to be of interest only to a minority audience. It’s technically good, well acted, and commendably concise.

Smukke Dreng

(DANISH)

  • Production: A Zentropa Entertainments Aps production. (International sales: Nordisk Film.) Produced by Peter Aalbsek Jensen, Ib Tardini. Directed, written by Carsten Sonder. Camera (color), Jackob Banke Olesen; editor, Henrik Fleischer; music, Joachim Holbek; production design, Soren Henriksen; sound, Nino Jacobsen; assistant director, Jannik Johansen. Reviewed at Screening Room, Leura, Australia, Aug. 18, 1993. (In Cannes Film Festival market.) Running time: 82 MIN.
  • Crew:
  • With: Nick Marcussen ... Christian Tapdrup Renee ... Benedicte W. Madsen Max ... Rami Nathan Sverdlin Ralph ... Stig Hoffmeyer Mortensen ... Niels Jorgensen Mother ... Kit Goetz Grandmother ... Birgit Bruel
  • Music By: