WORD OF GOD is the screen version of Jens Blendstrup's best-selling autobiography of the same name published in 2004 - a wry, funny and touching film by award-winning director Henrik Ruben ...
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WORD OF GOD is the screen version of Jens Blendstrup's best-selling autobiography of the same name published in 2004 - a wry, funny and touching film by award-winning director Henrik Ruben Genz, and starring Søren Malling in his defining role as Uffe/God. It is the 1980s - Jens and his brothers live in a single-family house in Risskov, a suburb of Aarhus, Denmark. Here, the family's patriarch psychologist and self-appointed God - Uffe - rules the roost in his dressing gown and underwear. Changes threaten the peace when Uffe decides to write his memoirs. The family home is suddenly filled to the rafters with Uffe's loyal patients, who both provide Uffe with moral support - and drunken companionship. As insurrection smoulders on the part of his three sons, maternal Gerd Lillian does all she can to keep the family together. But for Jens, Thomas and Mikkel to break free of their father's tyrannical rule and grow up will require a final, inevitable showdown with 'God'.
Despite references to the family patriarch as "God", this isn't a fantasy story. Word of God is set very much in the real world. It's a vignette rather than a plot-driven story, a tale of a cranky man and how his wife and three sons deal with him while trying to maintain their dignity and sanity.
The youngest son narrates the tale. He, his brothers, and his mother are all sympathetic characters, relatively normal people, though each has their own beliefs, quirks, and problems. The failure of my-way-or-the-highway Dad to show respect or even empathy for those who disagree drives the story. He could have been portrayed as an easy person to hate, but even with his limitations, it's obvious he is still trying to do good. To that extent, this film succeeds.
Vignettes are usually less than totally satisfying, lacking resolutions commensurate with their conflicts. But this story, despite its interesting situation and fine production, feels emptier than most, because the resolution is largely driven not by action but by happenstance. Since Word of God is an autobiographical piece, I can't argue with what it shows. But I wasn't thrilled.
NB: Who in their right mind makes onion soup without removing the skins?
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