So often such a frightening screen presence, it is a refreshing change to see Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen play such a likable and sympathetic character as he does here. The Hunt had been on my radar since its Best Actor win at Cannes almost a year ago, and it proves well worth the wait. Mikkelsen plays a small-town kindergarten teacher who is loved by everyone around him, only to suddenly, and incredibly painfully, fall victim to the fleeting spite of a young student. One little lie, born out of misunderstanding and then compounded by the ignorance of numerous adults, sees Lucas (Mikkelsen) branded a pedophile.
After the powerful yet miserable Submarino, this sees director Thomas Vinterberg back on top form, perfectly observing how the innocent interactions between human beings can be so easily skewed and misinterpreted, how quickly hate can spread and how ferociously a community can turn upon a perceived collective enemy amongst them. Hardly a laugh riot, The Hunt is an incredibly powerful and affecting piece of work, but so frighteningly prescient and exceptionally well written and performed that it thoroughly deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.