Terribly Happy - Hanrik Ruben Ganz's remarkably confident but misanthropic essay on shared culpability and small town mentality features an emotionally disturbed cop sent as punishment to a remote location, surrendering whatever shreds of decency he thought he still had for the murky double-standards of his new locale. Unpleasantly sinister characters and grim black humor offer a jaundiced view of the world as a corrupt, deceitful place, with no redeeming feature. Winner of the festival's top prize.
TrustNordisk (+45 36 868 788)
Good Cats - The new face of China is resoundingly slapped in Ying Liang's expose of the corruption, greed and vicious immorality accompanying the recent economic boom, which has changed the lives of some people for the better, but many more for the worse. The boss of a real estate agency doesn't baulk at murder to achieve his goals, while his driver is swayed by the money he sees being paraded before him. It's a shame Ying couldn't come up with a better plot to frame his message in, and technically, this is overly-ambitious for the resources at his disposal. Looks good for festivals and arthouse, but not beyond.
Film Studios (+86 216 324 1821)
Captive - A Russian convoy is blocked in the Chechen Mountains and two soldiers use a prisoner familiar with the territory to take them to the convoy and help lead the survivors back to safety. Alexei Uchitel puts in a long intro to establish the lay of the land but once the prisoner is captured and the two soldiers and their reticent guide are on their way, the sights and sounds of war are powerfully conveyed. The relationship between the three characters contains every predictable nuance, from Stockholm syndrome down to hints of homosexuality, but it is always sensitively handled.
Rock Films (+7 495 951 7654)
True Enough - A midlife crisis hits three couples, one of which is gay. In dealing with characters who would rather ignore the truth than face it, this Gallic adaptation of the American novel looks as if it was born to be French. Karin Viard is effectively high-strung and nervous, Andre Dussolier is at his affable best as a gay writer and director Sam Karmann is also the most laidback, sympathetic husband a woman could dream for. This is looking at modest box office in France but should also fare well with adult Francophone audiences abroad and on TV.
Films Distribution (+33 1 531 033 99)
I'm All Good - Another relaxed, good-natured comedy from Jan Hrebejk, set in Prague and centering around some victims who set up a sting operation on a bunch of petty criminals who operate a country fair. Pleasant at all times, this is never very involving or pertinent in its social comments but should go the way of recent Hrebejk films: big box office at home, respectable art house dates and quite a few festivals.
Menemsha (+1 310 452 1775)
The Karamazovs - The Dostoyevsky novel is translated into a theatrical showpiece and produced in a Polish steel factory by a Czech company called Dejvice. Petr Zelenka's ambitious effort is problematic on several levels: for starters, the stage adaptation doesn't do justice to the original, the performances are too stagey and the industrial background doesn't contribute much to the context. For non-Czech audiences, there is also a wearying amount of heavy-duty subtitling for two hours to contend with. Definitely art house material.
CinemArt (+ 420 221 105 230)
Dancer - A dance teacher embarks on a risky affair with an avowed rapist. Another Pernille Fischer Christensen study of a woman determined to mess up her life - a mess being preferable to the boring order of everyday routine. A terrific performance by Trine Dyrholm is hampered by a lack of chemistry with Anders Berthelsen and hesitant script which ultimately leaves the entire piece on a theoretical level.
TrustNordisk (+45 36 868 788)