Another Round: Vinterberg’s Oscar-Winning Serio-Comedy

Vet Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg directed Another Round, a serio-comedy about drinking, based on a screenplay he co-penned with Tobias Lindholm.

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2020, and shortly after was released in Denmark by Nordisk Film.

At the 93rd Oscars, the film was nominated for Best International Feature Film and Best Director, winning the in the former category.

It was also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and nominated for four awards at the 74th British Academy Film Awards, including Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Mikkelsen.

Narrative Structure:

Teachers Martin, Tommy, Peter and Nikolaj are colleagues and friends at a gymnasium in Copenhagen. All four struggle with unmotivated students and feel their lives have become boring and stale.

At a dinner celebrating Nikolaj’s 40th birthday, the group begins to discuss psychiatrist Finn Skårderud’s theory that having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 makes you more creative and relaxed.

While the group dismisses the theory, Martin, who is depressed due to marital troubles, is inspired and starts to drink at work. The rest of the group joins in, as an “experiment” to test Skårderud’s theory. They set the rules, that their BAC should never be below 0.05 and not to drink after 8:00pm.

Soon, all four members find both their work and private lives more enjoyable. Martin, in particular, is delighted as he finally manages to reconnect with his wife and children.

Agreeing that the experiment should be taken further, the group increases the daily BAC limit to 0.10. Still finding their lives improved, the group decides to attempt binge drinking to observe how their bodies and minds respond. The group has a fun night, but after coming home drunk, both Martin and Nikolaj are confronted by their families. Martin’s family express their worries that he is descending into alcoholism, having been visibly drunk for weeks.

After a heated argument, during which Martin’s wife admits to infidelity, Martin leaves her. The group abandons the experiment.

Months later, all the members have stopped drinking during the day with the exception of Tommy, who has become an alcoholic, and dies in a boat on the ocean.

The remaining members go out to dinner after Tommy’s funeral and appear reluctant to drink the alcohol which is served. While dining, Martin receives a message from his wife, stating her will to give their marriage another chance,

Martin, Peter and Nikolaj join the recently graduated students celebrating and drinking at the harbor.

Martin, a former jazz ballet dancer, dances with the rest of the partygoers, which he had refused to do for years.  His dance becomes increasingly frenetic and the story ends as he jumps in the ocean head first.

Cast
Mads Mikkelsen as Martin
Thomas Bo Larsen as Tommy
Lars Ranthe as Peter
Magnus Millang as Nikolaj
Maria Bonnevie as Anika
Susse Wold as Rektor