Film review: A Perfectly Normal Family. (PG)

PUBLISHED: 12:53 24 September 2020

A Perfectly Normal Family

A Perfectly Normal Family

Archant

With the low key intimacy of a home movie, Malou Reymann’s autobiographical film about two daughters’ reaction to their trans father is quietly devastating

Well it was, until one day 11-year-old Emma (Loholt) discovers that daddy (Følsgaard) is transitioning. After a trip to Thailand, he returns to Denmark as Fiona Bruce. Thomas is now Agnete. But while her older sister Caroline (Ranthe) approves of the change, the football-loving Emma finds it hard to accept.

The mark of Reymann’s autobiographical film is how convincing it is at being perfectly normal. Home movies clips of Emma growing up with her father are interspersed throughout the narrative, but the whole piece has the candid intimacy of a home movie, mostly because Ranthe and Loholt, are heartbreakingly naturalistic as the two daughters. You never catch them acting.

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Being Scandinavian, everybody is very reasonable and rational about it.

There isn’t the big dramatic showdown you might expect, everything is low key and all the more effective for that. The first scene is the proud new father Thomas sitting down to watch the Danish national football team with newborn Emma on his lap.

When 11 years later Agnete claims not to be interested in the sport it is a quietly devastating betrayal for Emma.

3/5 stars.

Directed by Malou Reymann. Starring Kaya Toft Loholt, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Rigmor Ranthe, Neel Rønholt and Jessica Dinnage. Subtitled in cinemas. Running time: 96 mins.


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