Lisa Schwarzbaum
March 17, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Mifune

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
99 minutes
performer
Jesper Asholt, Anders W. Berthelsen, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen
director
Soren Kragh-Jacobsen
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
Soren Kragh-Jacobsen
genre
Romance, Foreign Language

We gave it a B+

Movies made in the showily chaste Danish style known as Dogma 95 remind me of stylishly deconstructed Japanese clothes with their unfinished seams proudly displayed: The garments are artistic objects first, and wearability is almost an afterthought. Yet Mifune, a Rain Man-ish fable by Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, manages to look good and feel good, too. It’s a romance about second chances at love and salvation, as loose and restful as pajamas.

Mifune tells of Kresten, a callous businessman (Anders W. Berthelsen), his mentally challenged brother Rud (Jesper Asholt), and Liva (Iben Hjejle), a hooker-turned-housekeeper who looks after them in their farmhouse. Yet the real moral may be that it’s the little kindnesses that matter. Kragh-Jacobsen favors wildflowers in a bouquet on the table, family togetherness, and soft natural light whenever possible. The Japanese title, by the way, refers to the samurai star Toshiro Mifune, whom Kresten impersonates, for his brother’s delight, while wearing a tin pot on his head — very chic, very Comme des Garçons.

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