You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Daisy Diamond

The first five minutes of "Daisy Diamond" feature a smack injection and a rape -- then, things only get bleaker.

With: Noomi Rapace, Sofie Grabol, Trine Dyrholm, Charlotte Munck, Stine Stengade, Thure Lindhart, Bent Mejding, Anne-Lise Gabold, Christian Tafdrup.

The first five minutes of “Daisy Diamond” feature a smack injection and a rape — then, things only get bleaker. A grim, misanthropic and sometimes implausible tale about a single mother in moral freefall, pic features an arresting central performance by a practically omnipresent Noomi Rapace. Commendable in its unflinching gaze, the entire project — a kitchen sink drama recast as a psychological horror item — is compromised by helmer Simon Staho’s decision to locate it in a did-it-really happen no-man’s land. “Daisy” can expect to shine at fests with an interest in dramatically radical material.

Twenty-two-year-old wannabe thesp Anna (Rapace) helps her apparent b.f. (Thure Lindhart) mainline, following which he rapes her.

The camera pulls back to reveal that both are acting, and that this has been an audition which has been interrupted by the cries of Anna’s unwanted infant daughter Daisy (played by eight separate babies), whose screams throughout pic’s first half rep a highly disturbing soundtrack. The treatment of the baby during the first 40 minutes of the film may be too much for some auds to stomach.

Daisy’s crying is shown to be an obstacle to Anna’s professional success. Anna’s father (Bent Mejding) and mother (Anne-Lise Gabold) offer little help; then, they too turn out to be actors at an audition.

It is disconcerting to be pulled into such intense drama only to be repeatedly told that you’ve only been watching an audition. Ultimately, this technique distances the viewer from Anna’s emotions.

Anna talks to Daisy, sometimes lovingly, sometimes angrily. Clearly, Anna is ripe for some kind of breakdown. And then, entirely credibly, she snaps. But this time, it’s not an audition.

Anna enters a guilt-driven spiral of self-humiliation that sees her involved in passive lesbian sex with a toon producer (Trine Dyrholm) and doing porn films. Her only glimmer of hope is her friendship with director Thomas Lund (Christian Tafdrup). But ultimately, pic is unequivocal in its condemnation of human nature.

Rapace delivers a superbly committed perf in a demanding role, the thesp having to expose herself physically and emotionally.

After Anna snaps, however, when she effectively chooses to become a submissive plaything for others’ desires, her hold over the viewer’s emotions slips.

Visually, things are extremely pared-down throughout: Interiors are invariably off-white and full of empty space, emphasizing Anna’s isolation. A Vivaldi violin concerto, used sparingly, offers an effectively clipped-sounding counterpoint to Anna’s emotional turmoil. Clips of Liv Ullmann in Bergman’s “Persona” seem to reference both Anna’s ambitions and her frustrations.

Daisy Diamond


Production: An XX Film, Tju-Bang Film, Zentropa Entertainment22, Sonet Film production. (International sales: Trust Film Sales, Hvidovre, Denmark.) Produced by Sigrid Dyekjaer. Executive producer, Jonas Frederiksen.  Directed by Simon Staho. Screenplay, Peter Asmussen, Staho.

Crew: Camera (color), Eric Kress; editor, Janus Billeskov Jansen; production designer, Thomas Greve; sound (Dolby Digital), Rune Palving. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (competing) Madrid, Sept. 28, 2007. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Noomi Rapace, Sofie Grabol, Trine Dyrholm, Charlotte Munck, Stine Stengade, Thure Lindhart, Bent Mejding, Anne-Lise Gabold, Christian Tafdrup.

More Film

  • Alita Battle Angel

    'Alita' Inching Past 'Lego Movie 2' at Presidents Day Weekend Box Office

    James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” has a slight edge over “The Lego Movie 2” in a tight race for domestic box office supremacy during Presidents Day weekend. Both are aiming for about $27 million, early estimates showed on Friday. The two titles are the only current bright spots as overall moviegoing for 2019 trails far [...]

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

  • Oscars Best Song Nominees

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Songs

    This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated songs may be the most diverse in years: a ballad and a pop-rap from two of the year’s biggest films, plus a delicate lullaby from a Disney musical, a political themed anthem, and a novelty tune for singing cowboys. “Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    All Oscar Categories to Air Live After Hollywood Protest

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reversed its controversial decision to hand out four Oscars during the telecast’s commercial breaks. Following a Thursday night meeting with top cinematographers, Academy leadership including president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson have pledged to air every awards category on the live show a week from [...]

  • Academy Awards preparation 2017

    Cinematographers Hopeful That Academy Will Reverse Oscarcast Exclusions

    Cinematographers who are opposing the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations on the telecast have said a “productive” Thursday night meeting with Academy brass may lead to a reversal of the exclusions. American Society of Cinematographers president Kees van Oostrum said in a letter to members Friday that he expects a decision by the end [...]

  • Oscars: Resistance to the Rescue

    Oscars: Resistance to the Rescue

    When “The Dark Knight” failed to secured a best picture Oscar nomination, the snub was said to have prompted the Academy to expand the category from five nominees to as many as 10. A decade later, maybe out of fear that something similar might happen again to the immensely popular “Black Panther,” the Academy announced [...]

  • Chris Evans attends the "Lobby Hero"

    Chris Evans' Action Film 'The Red Sea Diving Resort' Bought by Netflix

    Netflix has bought global rights, excluding China, to Chris Evans’ action-thriller “The Red Sea Diving Resort” for release later this year. Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michiel Huisman, Greg Kinnear, and Ben Kingsley also star. “The Red Sea Diving Resort” is directed by “Homeland” creator Gideon Raff from his own script. Raff had [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content