Magazine article Screen International

Key House Mirror

Magazine article Screen International

Key House Mirror

Article excerpt

Dir: Michael Noer. Denmark. 2015. 90mins

Key House Mirror (Nøgel hus spejl), set in a Danish nursing home, delivers another masterclass from veteran actress Ghita Norby, even as it confronts us with the harsh reality of her old age. It's a push-pull experience; she dominates the screen and is compelling, yet the situation she and Michael Noer make so believable is anything but.

Key House Mirror marks a change of direction from talented Danish director Michael Noer, whose previous films R and Northwest dealt with prison and gang culture.

Noer's initially fresh, ultimately over-burdened, drama is set a Danish nursing home, where Lily (Norby) devotedly cares for her stroke-ridden husband. She is given an unexpected second chance at love when a dapper new neighbour moves in across the hall. It's yet another dominating performance from Norby in the role of an ailing matriarch, following swiftly on from Bille August's Silent Heart in which her character grappled with assisted suicide.

Key House Mirror, which premiered at the Goteborg Film Festival, is no more cheerful, despite its light and confident start. Lily's harried daughter (Pallesen) resists any change, but Lily grasps desperately at the chance of a new life while her husband slips silently away. Noer's abrupt introduction of a second arc involving Lily's mental deterioration proves a heavy load, however, and too brisk a shift in tone for what started out as a more delicate piece.

Key House Mirror marks a change of direction from talented Danish director Michael Noer, whose previous films R and Northwest dealt with prison and gang culture. …

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