katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of The Commune

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 11:00 PM

KO Review of The Commune

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

I have spent time on trips with groups of friends. The first day is great, second good, third ok, and by the fourth day I am in need of alone time. I love my friends, but living with all of them, not so much. The Commune is a film about a family, Erik and Anna with their daughter Freja who inherit a a beautiful big villa. The villa is out of their budget, so in order to move in and maintain the villa, so Anna (the wife) invites people to move in and contribute to the costs. With the family in the center of the story, we are invited into the dream of a real commune; we participate in the house meetings, dinners and parties. It is friendship, love and togetherness under one roof until an earth-shattering love affair puts the community and the commune to its greatest test yet.

This film is very Scandinavian, and I love it. I love how the film is color treated. It was the first thing about this film that struck a chord in me. Aesthetically the cinematography is beautiful. The second was the normcore styling of each character. The characters are all so individually strong, and their wardrobes really matched them. This film is set in the 1970’s but I felt all these clothes would be super hip in current times. In a Wes Anderson/Acne Studios kind of way.

I am obsessed with the actresses who played Anna (the wife played by Trine Dyrholm) and the Actress who played Emma (the husband’s mistress played by Helene Reingaard Neumann). Both women were so striking and phenomenal actors. It makes me wonder, why have I not seen them cast in anything before!?! But when I searched them up on imdb, I noticed I have seen films Trine had been in, just not as memorable of a role compared to this one I suppose. I feel like the writing in this film paired with the superb talent of the actors is what really made the film.


The film is set in Copenhagen, Denmark and is in Danish with english subtitles. Even with my deep love of European cinema, this film is challenging to watch. There are many lighthearted scenes, but mostly there is this internal struggle I had to relate to this generation free of the boundaries which confine my life within society in North America.

Written by Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm (writer and director of the Oscar-nominated A War and writer of The Hunt), the film had its world premiere in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 2016, where lead actress Trine Dyrholm won a Silver Bear for her performance, followed by a North American premiere in the fall of 2016 as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival.

An examination of the fallout from the social upheavals of the 1970s through the microcosm of a Copenhagen commune, Vinterberg’s own experiences of growing up in a commune during the 1970s and 80s inform his unflinching approach to the subject in this drama, which was based on his own stage play, Kollektivet (Film’s Original Title).

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT:  “From the age of 7 to 19 I lived in a commune. It was a crazy, warm and fantastic time, surrounded by genitals, beer, high level academic discussions, love and personal tragedies. As a child, every day was a fairy tale. Simply leaving the privacy of your own bedroom and finding your way into the common areas of the house could offer a variety of surprising sceneries because of the other residents and their various eccentricities.“ – Thomas Vinterberg

The Commune’s Canadian theatrical release begins with engagements at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Calgary’s Globe Cinema May 19th, 2017 and at Saskatoon’s Broadway Theatre May 14th – 24th, 2017.

Calgary Showtimes: Commune (Kollektivet), The >

Dir: Thomas Vinterberg


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.