A/V Room









It's All About Love - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

ONE of the more interesting films to emerge from the London Film Festival is sure to be It’s All About Love, Thomas Vinterberg’s keenly-anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed Festen, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes and Sean Penn.

The film is set in the near-future, and is billed as a fantastical romantic-thriller, which represents quite a change of scale and pace for the director.

As one of the co-founders of Dogme 95, Vinterberg has now renounced bare-essential aesthetics to create a far-reaching yet intimate epic about the death of love and, potentially, the end of the world. Hence, viewers can anticipate the spectacle of seeing it snow in New York during the otherwise hottest month of the year, and freshwater freezing instantly in glasses and pipes for a period of two minutes.

Phoenix stars as John, the narrator of the tale, who we first meet stepping over mysteriously collapsed human bodies in New York, while on his way to divorce his figure-skater wife, Elena (Claire Danes). Although reunited only briefly, John stumbles across a corporate conspiracy surrounding Elena, prompting him to kidnap her and go on the run.

Literally hovering over all this is John’s brother, Marciello (Penn), who offers advice-cum-running commentary from an aeroplane that’s unable to land.

Vinterberg sets his tale – co-written with Mogens Rukov – against the backdrop of an increasingly chaotic and elementally unpredictable world, where people are dying from lack of love, whole regions are freezing over and even gravity is under threat.

According to the LFF website, ‘contemporary film-makers such as Alan Rudolph, Wim Wenders and Julio Medem are evoked’, although it credits Vinterberg as ‘travelling his own path here and the journey is fascinating’.

The film was screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where its look drew gasps of admiration. However, the plot found many scratching their heads, while the decision to force both Phoenix and Danes to adopt Polish accents has been something which critics have singled out as a particularly bad move.

Indeed, according to website,, anticipation going into Sundance was so high that it appeared a distribution deal for an American release was all but guaranteed. Post-Sundance, however, ‘the prospect of a wide American release is probably all but dead’.

Audiences who like something a little bit different, or a challenge, may well want to see it, however, particularly given the profile that its cast now carry in terms of recent successes.

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