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The Guilty (Den skyldige) - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
The Guilty (Den skyldige)
SIFF's capsule summary: "Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, this innovative, claustrophobic thriller takes place in an emergency call center, where a dispatcher receives a panicked distress call from a woman, leading to a frantic rescue mission with a phone as the only resource." (Denmark, 2018, 85 minutes)
SIFF link: The Guilty

Police officer Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) is temporarily assigned to an emergency services call center, due to something that happened on regular duty. He's troubled, and calls his partner Rashid (Omar Shargawi) a few times.

After a few minor calls that Asger resolves with disdain, he receives a call from Iben (Jessica Dinnage), a woman in a vehicle who can only answer yes or no questions because there's someone else with her. Her six-year-old daughter Mathilde (Katinka Evers-Jahnsen) and infant son are home alone.

I'm not sure when to draw the line between set-up and complications, so I'll stop early to avoid spoilers.

9 Excellent This Danish thriller may be the best true one-set film I've seen, depending on whether Rear Window counts, with a compelling story and magical directing. The camera never leaves the call center, and rarely leaves Cedergren's face. Everything that happens outside the room comes through the phone.

Cedergren is excellent in a very demanding role. Dinnage is excellent in her voice-only role. Shargawi and Johan Olsen are very good in additional voice-only roles. Supporting cast, both others in the call center and other voice-only roles are also solid.

I don't recall the score, so it must have done its job unobtrusively.

Finally, the sound editing through the phone was outstanding, expressing more through sound alone than many films manage to express through sound and images.

Overall, I rate the film excellent, and the sound work is outstanding.

Languages: Danish, with English subtitles.

Rating: I don't think this film has a US rating (yet), but I'd guess it would rate a "R", because although nothing worse than "PG" happens on screen, there's some foul language, and some R-rated violence described over the phone.

Screening: 10 am, Pacific Place (room 4).
Audience: a typical SIFF press screening crowd, somewhat over 100, about 285 seats (estimated capacity).

Snacks: none.

Ads and announcements: no ads at press screenings; SIFF volunteer "J" provided announcements.

Notes to myself:

SIFF statistics: 4 films (all features), no parties.

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