The Hunt (2012 film)

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The Hunt
The Hunt (2012 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Produced by Morten Kaufmann
Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Thomas Vinterberg
Written by Tobias Lindholm
Thomas Vinterberg
Starring Mads Mikkelsen
Alexandra Rapaport
Thomas Bo Larsen
Annika Wedderkopp
Music by Nikolaj Egelund
Cinematography Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Edited by Anne Østerud
Janus Billeskov Jansen
Distributed by Nordisk Film
United States:
Magnolia Pictures
Release dates
  • 20 May 2012 (2012-05-20) (Cannes)
  • 10 January 2013 (2013-01-10) (Denmark)
Running time 115 minutes[1]
Country Denmark
Language Danish
Budget $3.5 million
Box office $16,779,362[2][3]

The Hunt (Danish: Jagten) is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen. The story is set in a small Danish village around Christmas, and follows a man who becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child in his kindergarten class.[4][5]

The film was screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and competed at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award for his role.[6][7][8] It also won the 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize. The film was selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards,[9][10] making the final nomination.[11] It was nominated in the same category at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards.[12]


Lucas is a member of a close-knit Danish community and works at a local kindergarten. Divorced, he struggles to maintain a relationship with his teenage son, who lives with his ex-wife, but enjoys wholesome interaction with the children at the kindergarten. His coworker Nadja makes advances towards him and eventually moves in as his girlfriend.

One of the kindergarten pupils is Klara, the daughter of Lucas' best friend Theo. Drawing on memory of a pornographic picture her brother showed her, she makes comments that lead the kindergarten director to believe Lucas indecently exposed himself to her. When interviewed with leading questions, Klara gives unclear testimony against Lucas. The adults in the community believe the director's story of abuse, dismissing Klara's later contradictions as denial.

Lucas is shunned by the community as a pedophile sexual predator. His friendship with Theo is destroyed, the pressure causes him to break up with Nadja, and his son is publicly ostracised. The kindergarten staff ask leading questions of other children at the kindergarten, who also say they were abused. However, the children's accounts mention details of Lucas's basement, which supports Lucas's innocence, as his house has no basement. After a hearing, he is released without charge.

The community is still suspicious of Lucas, however, and the ostracism turns to violence. His dog, Fanny, is killed, a stone is thrown through his window, and he is beaten by grocery store employees when he tries to buy food. On Christmas Eve, Lucas confronts Theo during a public church service. Later, Theo overhears Klara apologizing to Lucas as she drifts off to sleep. His doubts about Lucas' innocence are resolved, and he visits him on Christmas Day with food and alcohol as a peace offering.

A year later, tensions in the community have lessened. Lucas and Nadja are in a relationship again, and Lucas' son is accepted into the local hunting society as an adult. On a hunting expedition to commemorate the event, an unseen person shoots at Lucas. Blinded by the setting sun, Lucas is unable to identify his attacker, who reloads but flees.



The film was produced by Zentropa for 20 million Danish kroner. It received co-production support from Sweden's Film i Väst and Zentropa International Sweden. Further support came from the Danish Film Institute, DR, Eurimages, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Swedish Film Institute, Sveriges Television and the MEDIA Programme.[4]


Alexandra Rapaport and Thomas Vinterberg at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

The Hunt premiered on 20 May 2012 at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, as the first Danish-language film in the main competition since 1998.[4][13] Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at Cannes.[14] Nordisk Film released it in Denmark on 10 January 2013.[4] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 7 May 2013.

The film currently has a 93% rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes from 122 film critics with an average rating of 7.9 out of 10; the general consensus states: "Anchored by Mads Mikkelsen's sympathetic performance, The Hunt asks difficult questions with the courage to pursue answers head on."[15] The film also has a score of 76 on metacritic based on 30 critics indicating generally favourable reviews.[16]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards March 2, 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Thomas Vinterberg Nominated
Alliance of Women Film Journalists[17] December 19, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Thomas Vinterberg Won
British Academy Film Awards February 10, 2013 Best Film not in the English Language Nominated
British Independent Film Awards December 9, 2012 Best Foreign Independent Film Thomas Vinterberg Won
Bodil Awards[18] February 1, 2014 Best Danish Film Won
Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Won
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Bo Larsen Nominated
Lars Ranthe Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Anne Louise Hassing Nominated
Susse Wold Won
Best Cinematography Charlotte Bruus Christensen Won
Cannes Film Festival May 27, 2012 Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Won
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Thomas Vinterberg Won
Vulcan Award Charlotte Bruus Christensen Won
Palme d'Or Thomas Vinterberg Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards December 16, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards January 16, 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society[19] January 13, 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association December 16, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Satellite Awards February 23, 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
European Film Awards December 1, 2012 Best Film Thomas Vinterberg Nominated
Best Director Thomas Vinterberg Nominated
Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best Screenwriter Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm Won
Best Editor Janus Billeskov Jansen, Anne Østerud Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[12] January 12, 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards March 1, 2014 Best Foreign Film Nominated
London Film Critics Circle Awards January 20, 2013 Actor of the Year Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
National Board of Review Awards December 4, 2013 Top Foreign Films Won
Nordic Council Film Prize October 30, 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize Thomas Vinterberg Won
North Carolina Film Critics Association[20] January 12, 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards December 16, 2013 Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society[21] December 17, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Best Performance by A Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Female Annika Wedderkopp Nominated
Robert Award[22] January 27, 2014 Best Danish Film Thomas Vinterberg Won
Best Director Thomas Vinterberg Won
Best Screenplay Thomas Vinterberg,Tobias Lindholm Won
Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen Won
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Bo Larsen Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Susse Wold Won
Anne Louise Hassing Nominated
Best Cinematography Charlotte Bruus Christensen Nominated
Best Editor Anne Østerud, Janus Billeskov Jansen Won
Best Production Design Torben Stig Nielsen Nominated
Best Costume Design Manon Rasmussen Nominated
Best Make-Up Bjørg Serup Nominated
Best Original Score Nikolaj Egelund Nominated
Best Sound Kristian Eidnes Andersen, Thomas Jæger Nominated
Audience Award - Best Drama Thomas Vinterberg Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards December 16, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards[23] December 11, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association[24] December 16, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Runner-up
Vancouver International Film Festival October 12, 2012 Rogers People’s Choice Award Thomas Vinterberg Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards December 9, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jagten - The Hunt (15)". Arrow Film Distributors. British Board of Film Classification. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Staff writer (2012-04-19). "Vinterberg til Cannes Festival". (in Danish). Danish Film Institute. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  5. ^ "The Hunt, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  6. ^ "The Hunt". TIFF. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  7. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2012 line-up announced". timeout. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  9. ^ "Denmark Selects 'The Hunt' As Foreign Language Oscar Candidate". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  10. ^ "Oscars: Denmark Nominates 'The Hunt' for Best Foreign Language Category". Hollywood Report. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  11. ^ "Oscars: Main nominations 2014". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  12. ^ a b "Golden Globes Nominations: The Full List". Variety. January 11, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Screenings guide". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  14. ^ "Awards 2012". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  15. ^ "The Hunt (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "2013 EDA Award Nominess". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  18. ^ "2014 Bodil Awards Nominations". Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  19. ^ Lodge, Guy (10 January 2014). "2013 Denver Film Critics' Society nominations". HitFix. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Lodge, Guy (January 5, 2014). "2013 North Carolina Film Critics' Association nominations". HitFix. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Phoenix Film Critics Society 2013 Award Nominations". Phoenix Film Critics Society. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  22. ^ "The Hunt sweeps Danish Robert awards". January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  23. ^ "San Diego Film Critics Select Top Films for 2013". Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  24. ^ "TFCA Announces 2013 Awards". Toronto Film Critics Association. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 

External links[edit]