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TIFF Capsule Review: 'Love Is All You Need'

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Indiewire September 10, 2012 at 11:19PM

Danish director Susanne Bier's follow-up to her Oscar-winning "In a Better World" is a welcome change from the overdone weightiness of her last few films in favor of a conventionally heartwarming romance about aging loners finding a catharsis in companionship. Trine Dyrholm plays Ida, a hairdresser and cancer survivor whose solemn life is complicated when she comes home for a doctor's visit to find her husband fooling around with a woman half her age. The timing couldn't be worse, since Ida's young daughter plans to get married soon at an orange grove in Italy. At the height of her frustration, Ida literally slams into the father of the groom, wealthy businessman and longtime bachelor Phillip (Pierce Brosnan), as they're both en route to the airport. Despite the poor introduction, the duo hit it off, drawn together by their mutual loneliness. As the wedding unfolds amid the usual pile-up of things gone wrong (Will Ida's dimwitted husband win her back? Does the groom have the cojones to seal the deal?), Anders Thomas Jensen's screenplay unfolds with a light comic touch that's generally unremarkable but nevertheless energized by persistent wit. Dyrholm's gentle performance is complemented by Brosnan in fine form as a suave gentleman fed up with the family conlifcts that have defined his life. When a former in-law (Parika Steen, in an enjoyably spiteful turn) makes crude advances on him, Phillip's resulting putdown marks one of the highlights of Brosnan's acting career. However, as "Love Is All You Need" goes through the motions of drawing its central couple together, Bier delivers nothing more than a well-made, strictly middlebrow entertainment with a bittersweet polish that's easy to enjoy and forget in equal measures. Criticwire grade: B [Eric Kohn]
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Danish director Susanne Bier's follow-up to her Oscar-winning "In a Better World" is a welcome change from the overdone weightiness of her last few films in favor of a conventionally heartwarming romance about aging loners finding a catharsis in companionship. Trine Dyrholm plays Ida, a hairdresser and cancer survivor whose solemn life is complicated when she comes home for a doctor's visit to find her husband fooling around with a woman half her age. The timing couldn't be worse, since Ida's young daughter plans to get married soon at an orange grove in Italy. At the height of her frustration, Ida literally slams into the father of the groom, wealthy businessman and longtime bachelor Phillip (Pierce Brosnan), as they're both en route to the airport. Despite the poor introduction, the duo hit it off, drawn together by their mutual loneliness. As the wedding unfolds amid the usual pile-up of things gone wrong (Will Ida's dimwitted husband win her back? Does the groom have the cojones to seal the deal?), Anders Thomas Jensen's screenplay unfolds with a light comic touch that's generally unremarkable but nevertheless energized by persistent wit. Dyrholm's gentle performance is complemented by Brosnan in fine form as a suave gentleman fed up with the family conlifcts that have defined his life. When a former in-law (Parika Steen, in an enjoyably spiteful turn) makes crude advances on him, Phillip's resulting putdown marks one of the highlights of Brosnan's acting career. However, as "Love Is All You Need" goes through the motions of drawing its central couple together, Bier delivers nothing more than a well-made, strictly middlebrow entertainment with a bittersweet polish that's easy to enjoy and forget in equal measures. Criticwire grade: B [Eric Kohn]

This article is related to: Reviews, Toronto International Film Festival, Love is All You Need, Susanne Bier, Pierce Brosnan