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

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Ventana Sur: Aparicio Garcia Pitches Sports

    Uruguay’s Aparicio Garcia Pitches Sports Journalism Dark Comedy ‘Matufia’

    Uruguay’s Aparicio García impressed with his one-of-kind debut earlier this year, the grindhouse rural mobster comedy “La noche que no se repite,” and the filmmaker has now participated in Ventana Sur’s Proyecta section with his next project, the dark comedy thriller “Matufia.” García’s Isla Patrulla is so far the only producer, but his participation at [...]

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content