Directed by Annette K Olesen starring Jorgen Kiil, Maria Wurgler Rich, Jannie Faurschou, Jesper Christensen and Henrik Prip.
How can you look in and reach out when someone you love dies? That's the question which runs through Olesen's study of a family trying to come to terms with the passing of a wife and mother. Father John (Kiil) acts like nothing's happened, the childish Marianne (Wurgler) leans on her dad more and more, the driven son Tom (Prip) gets consumed by work and space cadet artist sister Eva (Faurschou) wonders whether she's secretly happy. Meanwhile John's brother, Soren (Christensen) is too caught up in his wife's affair to ask his older sibling how he's doing.
With one brilliant early scene, where the hearse is late for the mother's coffin, the first 20 minutes of 'Minor Mishaps' suggest that there will be plenty of comedy amid the gloom. But it ends up as a disappointment. While having multiple narratives often dilutes the impact of a story, here they work well, tapping in to each character's life and showing how they try to get on with it the only way they know.
The major letdown is the pacing: the film needed more humour and ruthless editing to make it really flow. A shame, given that the performances are strong with the improvisational feel and chemistry never suggesting that the actors are anything other than a family. But Olesen misses out on giving the characters the scenarios they deserve. While Marianne ends up finding romance in the most unlikely of places, 'Minor Mishaps' would really have brightened up if her dad got it together with a workmate too.
Granted, it could be said that grieving is all about distance but people do foolish things when they're upset and this film should have examined them more. It picks up towards the close as the family is pulled together by another major trauma, but this a film which could've made a far more lasting impression than it actually does.