|Directed by||Thomas Vinterberg|
|Cinematography||Charlotte Bruus Christensen|
|Music by||Nikolaj Egelund|
|Distributed by||Nordisk Film|
|Box office||$18.3 million|
The Hunt (Danish: Jagten) is a 2012 Danish psychological drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen. Set in a small Danish village around Christmas, the film follows a man named Lucas, a divorced kindergarten teacher who becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child in his class.
The film gained critical acclaim for Mikkelsen's performance and Vinterberg's direction. Many have described it as one of the best psychological drama films of its time. It was competed at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, where Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award for his role, and was also screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, among other film festivals. It won the 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize and was one of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Golden Globe Awards. It was the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 86th Academy Awards and was selected as one of the final five nominees.
Lucas is a member of a close-knit rural Danish community. He misses his teenage son, Marcus, who mostly lives with his ex-wife, but he gets along well with the young children at the local kindergarten where he has worked since the school at which he taught closed. When Marcus says he wants to live with Lucas and Lucas starts to date Nadja, a co-worker, his fortunes seem to be looking up.
Klara, who is the daughter of Lucas' best friend, Theo, as well as a pupil at Lucas' kindergarten, has a tendency to wander off on her own when her parents argue, and Lucas occasionally happens upon her when she is alone and helps her out. He accommodates her aversion to stepping on cracks and says she can walk his dog whenever she wants, and, over time, Klara develops a crush on Lucas. When she kisses him on the mouth and gives him a small gift, he gently rebuffs her and she becomes dejected. Using details from a pornographic picture shown to her by a friend of her older brother, Klara makes comments that lead Grethe, the director of the kindergarten, to believe Lucas exposed himself to her. Grethe invites an acquaintance to interview Klara and, after Klara nods in response to the man's leading questions, Grethe, who does not believe that children lie about such things, alerts the authorities and informs the parents of the children who attend the kindergarten. Klara later contradicts her initial story, but the adults see this as stemming from denial of what happened to her.
Lucas loses his job, his friendship with Theo is destroyed, and he is shunned by the community as a pedophile and outcast. Due to the vague language used and the secrecy around the investigation, he does not know what specifically he is supposed to have done, but he eventually hears he may have been accused of abusing multiple children. The strain of this revelation leads him to break up with Nadja when he thinks she doubts his innocence.
Marcus runs away from his mother to be with Lucas. After a trip to the grocery store, where he is told that neither he nor his father are welcome anymore, he sees Lucas being arrested by the police. Locked out of the house, Marcus goes to ask Theo for a spare key and ends up fighting with several adults for confronting Klara and asking why she lied about his father. He is taken in by Bruun, one of Lucas' friends, and his family, who believe Lucas is innocent. Bruun tells Marcus that Lucas has a hearing in the morning and he is hopeful the case against Lucas will be dropped, since he has heard that all of the children's accounts of their abuse mention the same details of the basement of Lucas' house, which does not have a basement.
Lucas is released from custody, but someone kills his dog and throws a stone through his window, so he sends Marcus back to his ex-wife. On Christmas Eve, he gets beaten up and thrown out of the grocery store when he refuses to leave without his food; however, he headbutts the butcher to get his groceries back. At church, he notices Theo and his wife, who saw him limp out of the store bleeding from his head, whispering during the service, so he challenges Theo to look in his eyes for a sign he is lying about his innocence, since Theo had previously stated he can always tell when Lucas is lying. When Theo goes to put Klara to bed that night, she reaffirms that Lucas did not do anything bad to her. He brings Lucas food and alcohol and the two men sit together to talk.
By the next fall, tensions in the community have lessened, and Lucas' friends greet him again as before. He and Nadja have gotten back together. Marcus receives his first rifle at a ceremony at Bruun's house. Lucas and Klara reunite, and he carries her in his arms to take her to Theo. After assembling, the adult men go hunting on the surrounding estate. When Lucas is by himself, a bullet whizzes past his head. He turns and watches as the shooter, silhouetted against the sun, reloads his rifle and points it for a moment before he flees.
- Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas
- Thomas Bo Larsen as Theo, Lucas' best friend, Agnes' husband, and Klara's father
- Annika Wedderkopp as Klara, Theo and Agnes' daughter
- Lasse Fogelstrøm as Marcus, Lucas' son
- Susse Wold as Grethe, Lucas' boss
- Anne Louise Hassing as Agnes, Theo's wife and Klara's mother
- Lars Ranthe as Bruun, Lucas' friend, Marcus' godfather
- Alexandra Rapaport as Nadja, Lucas' girlfriend
- Sebastian Bull Sarning as Torsten, Theo and Agnes' son, Klara's older brother, and Marcus' friend
- Bjarne Henriksen as Ole
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.
The Hunt premiered on 20 May 2012 at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was the first Danish-language film in the main competition since 1998. Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at the festival.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on 10 December 2013.
Given its estimated $3.8 million budget, the film was a financial success. Worldwide, it earned more than $16 million, including $7.9 million in Denmark. In the United States, it was shown in 47 theaters and earned $613,308.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2022)
The film received universal acclaim. It has an approval rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 133 reviews, with an average rating of 7.82/10; the website's critical consensus reads: "Anchored by Mads Mikkelsen's sympathetic performance, The Hunt asks difficult questions with the courage to pursue answers head on." On Metacritic, it has a score of 77 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result|
|Academy Awards||2 March 2014||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||19 December 2013||Best Foreign Language Film||Thomas Vinterberg||Won|
|British Academy Film Awards||10 February 2013||Best Film not in the English Language||Nominated|
|British Independent Film Awards||9 December 2012||Best Foreign Independent Film||Thomas Vinterberg||Won|
|Bodil Awards||1 February 2014||Best Danish Film||Won|
|Best Actor||Mads Mikkelsen||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Thomas Bo Larsen||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Anne Louise Hassing||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Charlotte Bruus Christensen||Won|
|Cannes Film Festival||27 May 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||16 December 2013||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Awards||16 January 2014||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association||16 December 2013||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||23 February 2014||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|European Film Awards||1 December 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 2014||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Awards||1 March 2014||Best Foreign Film||Nominated|
|International Online Film Critics' Poll||26 January 2015||Best Actor||Mads Mikkelsen||Nominated|
|London Film Critics Circle Awards||20 January 2013||Actor of the Year||Mads Mikkelsen||Nominated|
|National Board of Review Awards||4 December 2013||Top Foreign Films||Won|
|Nordic Council Film Prize||30 October 2013||Nordic Council Film Prize||Thomas Vinterberg||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||16 December 2013||Best Actor||Mads Mikkelsen||Nominated|
|Robert Awards||27 January 2014||Best Danish Film||Thomas Vinterberg||Won|
|Best Director||Thomas Vinterberg||Won|
|Best Original 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 Editing||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||16 December 2013||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||11 December 2013||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association||16 December 2013||Best Foreign Language Film||Runner-up|
|Vancouver International Film Festival||12 October 2012||Rogers People's Choice Award||Thomas Vinterberg||Won|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards||9 December 2013||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
The Hunt was adapted for the stage in 2019 by David Farr, and produced at the Almeida Theatre in London. The production was directed by Rupert Goold and starred Tobias Menzies as Lucas. The production ran between 19 June – 3 August 2019.
- List of submissions to the 86th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Danish submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
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