June 20, 2017

Master of the House.

Review #950: Master of the House.

Johannes Meyer (Viktor Frandsen), Astrid Holm (Ida Frandsen), Karin Nellemose (Karen Frandsen), Mathilde Nielsen ("Mads"), Clara Schønfeld (Alvilda Kryger), Johannes Nielsen (Doctor), and Petrine Sonne (Laundress) Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer.

This is the 25th film under the world cinema label (excluding Canada and the UK), with this being the second film from Denmark (the first being #740 - Himmelskibet), released as Du skal ære din hustru during original release, with the title translating to Thou Shalt Honour Thy Wife. Among all the silent films (roughly over 50), this one sticks out as a fine family drama that has a share of wit to it. The movie shines best when showing these characters and their emotions through their expressions and through subtlety. Dreyer uses his household environment to make an enclosing but fitting atmosphere. Despite not having many scenes outside the house, it never feels like a stage production, due to the actors. The movie take its time to show the life of the family and their daily ritual; it gets interesting after the film shifts its focus to the nanny. Meyer does a fine job as this rough patriarch lead while never becoming two dimensional in his manner of tone. Holm also shines in her matriarch lead role due to being easily relatable and fairly likable. Nellemose is pretty decent. Nielsen and Schønfeld are entertaining in their scenes of trying to confront Meyer. For me, when the core concept of a film that was released before my time (pretty much most films of the 20th century) can still apply and work in the current day, it acts a benefit to the movie's advantage. The movie manages to work as a commentary on the family household most of the time, never becoming too heavy handed while having a few times of levity. It's easy to recommend this one, whether for its worldly flavor or its wonderful execution - take your pick.

Well, if you didn't already know, Movie Night has now reached 950 reviews. I didn't want to make a big deal about it (besides the sticker), but in any case it is important because there are now only 50 reviews to go to the big number, 1,000. Hopefully the next batch of 50 will be as good as the other 19 batches of 50 have been.

Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.

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