(In these last few days of the year, we go back over the best films of 2019 – ed)
The professional relationship between director May el-Toukhy and actress Trin Dyrholm is becoming quite important to world cinema. From their collaboration on the enjoyable relationship film “Long Story Short” to the Bergmanesque brilliance of the Danish series “The Legacy,” the two artists seem to have an artistic symmetry to their collaborations. The director gets naturally powerful performances from her actress, who in turn is given inspiring canvases on which to work.
The two artists not only continue their streak but with the latest film, “Queen of Hearts,” el-Toukhy and Dyrholm have gifted us with one of the best films of the year, and one that deserves to see an Oscar nomination for Foreign Language Film (this is Denmark’s official submission) and a nod for Dyrholm in the Best Actress category.
“Queen of Hearts” is a frank tale of high personal drama that puts the abuse of power and its repercussions under the microscope.
With the tale of a stranger who inserts themselves into a family’s life only to wreck the familial bliss, audiences have been down this road many times. But for this film, director May el-Touky and her fellow screenwriter Maren Louise Kaehne throw in the damning taboo of a stepmother sleeping with her husband’s son.