These are the cinema highlights of the week

In “Der Rausch”, leading actor Mads Mikkelsen surpasses himself. (Photo: Henrik Ohsten / 2020 Zentropa Entertainments3 ApS, Zentropa Sweden AB, Topkapi Films BV & Zentropa Netherlands BV)

“Der Rausch”, “In the Heights: Rhythm of New York” and “Spirit – Free and Untamed”: These are the cinema relaunch on July 22nd.

Finally give him an Oscar! Hardly any actor is currently as present as Mads Mikkelsen, and yet you just can’t get enough of the Dane. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that Mikkelsen happily switches back and forth between European Arthaus cinema and gigantic Hollywood productions. Above all, the 55-year-old is a damn good actor, perhaps the best of his generation. In the cinema you can experience this from this week in the Oscar-winning drama “Der Rausch” and from the end of September in the pitch-black comedy “Heroes of Probability”. Further new starts from July 22nd are the musical film “In the Heights” and the children’s film “Spirit – Frei und Untamed”.

Four teachers who are friends (from left: Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Mads Mikkelsen and Magnus Millang) come up with a plan: From now on they only want to go through life with half a per thousand alcohol in their blood.  (Photo: Henrik Ohsten / 2020 Zentropa Entertainments3 ApS, Zentropa Sweden AB, Topkapi Films BV & Zentropa Netherlands BV)

Four teachers who are friends (from left: Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Mads Mikkelsen and Magnus Millang) come up with a plan: From now on they only want to go through life with half a per thousand alcohol in their blood. (Photo: Henrik Ohsten / 2020 Zentropa Entertainments3 ApS, Zentropa Sweden AB, Topkapi Films BV & Zentropa Netherlands BV)

The intoxication

A few years ago, the Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud put forward an – successfully said – unusual thesis: According to Skårderud, people are born with half a per mille of blood alcohol too little. Those who go through life just a little tipsy are more relaxed and creative. The Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (“Das Fest”, “Die Jagd”) has turned this premise into perhaps the weirdest teacher comedy of all time and for it won the Oscar for the best international film: “Der Rausch”.

Mads Mikkelsen plays Martin, a teacher in mid-life crisis who has neither his students nor his private life under control. At a boozy birthday party, he and three equally frustrated colleagues decide to put Skårderud’s alcohol theory into practice – strictly scientific, of course. But the experiment escalates as the teachers keep increasing their level …

"In the Heights: Rhythm of New York" is after "Hamilton" the second film adaptation of a musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  (Image: Warner Bros.)

“In the Heights: Rhythm of New York” is the second film adaptation of a musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda after “Hamilton”. (Image: Warner Bros.)

In the Heights: Rhythm of New York

Even if only die-hard musical fans know his name in this country: the American Lin-Manuel Miranda is a star in his home country. Miranda, born in New York in 1980 to Puerto Rican parents, composed one of the most successful musicals of all time, “Hamilton”, which – a very unusual subject – was told about the life of the American founding father Alexander Hamilton and was showered with prizes. Even before “Hamilton”, Miranda created “In the Heights”, which opened on Broadway in 2008 and has now also been made into a film.

“In the Heights”, which the German distributor has given the subtitle “Rhythm of New York”, is set in Washington Heights, a district of New York that is mainly inhabited by immigrants from the Dominican Republic. The bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who dreams of returning to his parents’ homeland, also lives here. But a lot still keeps him in the lively district – such as his great love Vanessa (Melissa Barrera).

In New York, bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) falls in love with Vanessa (Melissa Barrera).  (Image: Warner Bros.)

In New York, bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) falls in love with Vanessa (Melissa Barrera). (Image: Warner Bros.)

Spirit – Free and untamed

Movies with horses always work. Especially when they are aimed at a very young audience. The cartoon “Spirit – The Wild Mustang” was so successful in 2002 that it received an Oscar nomination, was continued a few years later with an animation series and finally got a spin-off that is now called “Spirit – Free and Untamed” starts in German cinemas. Unlike the first, classically drawn film, “Free and Untamed” was animated on the computer.

The focus of the film is the young Lucky who, after her mother’s death, grows up with her aunt, who is then sent to her father in a small prairie town. There she quickly becomes friends with two girls and their horses. She is particularly fond of a wild Mustang, which she baptizes with the name “Spirit”. The girl and the boisterous horse are slowly getting closer, but Lucky’s father doesn’t like his daughter spending time with “Spirit”. After all, Lucky’s mother had once died in a riding accident. When “Spirit” is to be sold, Lucky grows beyond himself – and fights for her animal companion.

"Spirit - Free and unrestrained" is an offshoot of the hit film from 2002. (Image: 2021 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

“Spirit – Frei und Untamed” is an offshoot of the hit film from 2002. (Image: 2021 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

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