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Magnus von Horn’s The Girl with the Needle – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 2

Magnus von Horn’s The Girl with the Needle – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 2

The slot belonging to the second film of the competition belonged to Magnus von Horn‘s The Girl with the Needle (aka Pigen med nålen) – a Danish-Polish-Swedish co-production in glorious b&w photography. Three feature films in and three Cannes Film Festival showings in a row (2015’s The Here After was a Directors’ Fornight selection and Sweat was selected for the Cannes Label 2020 pandemic edition), thi don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater beauty played well with the late evening showings. Clocking in at the two hour mark, Vic Carmen Sonne toplines here — he was in featured in the Un Certain Regard selected Godland in 2022.

Gist: Co-written by Magnus von Horn and Line Langebek, Karoline (Vic Carmen Sonne), a young factory worker, is struggling to survive in post WW1 Copenhagen. When she finds herself unemployed, abandoned and pregnant, she meets Dagmar (Trine Dyrholm), a charismatic woman running an underground adoption agency, helping mothers to find foster homes for their unwanted children. With nowhere else to turn, Karoline takes on the role of a wet-nurse. A strong connection is formed between the two women, but Karoline’s world shatters when she stumbles upon the shocking truth behind her work.

Current temperature: A surprise Swedish entry film for the competition section played well last night in day 1 of the competition. Based on a true nightmarish story loosely based on the true crimes of Danish angel maker Dagmar Overbye (despite Denmark not being involved in the war we have a lot of misery here) this turn of the 20th century tale and some solid direction and production design, stirring performances and a score to make viewers feel the unease. With thirteen critics weighing in we have an average score of 2.8 and could trend upwards.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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