Daily News header

Teddy Bear Movie Review

By     get stories by email

In no way to be confused with Mark Wahlberg's talking dirty, furry animated best friend in Ted, this similar boy toy nicknamed star of Teddy Bear is no less goofy, though on the grim side instead. A Danish drama about a dysfunctional, physically ferocious looking body builder doing battle with his inner wimp, Teddy Bear astonishingly mines subtle emotional delicacy from blunt psychological wounds, in a decidedly cinematic cuddle-free zone.

Real life Danish bodybuilder Kim Kold is Dennis, the Teddy Bear in question. A thirty-eight year old glum Copenhagen extreme introvert still living at home with his possessive petite mom Ingrid (Elsebeth Steentoft) when he's not pumping up at the local gym, Dennis has recently been overcoming his chronic arrested development enough to awkwardly embark on a search for female companionship.

But better late than never dates with Danish women are inevitably a disappointment, mostly for them in any case, due to the humorless hunk's passive, thwarted personality. So when Dennis attends the wedding of his geeky uncle who has apparently imported a glamorous, adoring young bride from Thailand half his age, the lonely gentle giant's imagination is sparked to do the same.

The only problem is Mom. Whose own loneliness raising Dennis as a single mother all these years, has led to an unhealthy bond in the extreme where she is unable to tolerate sharing him with any other woman. So what else is Dennis to do, but pretend he's off to a bodybuilder convention in Germany instead, though really sneaking off somewhat like a husband with infidelity on his mind, to score a potential spouse for himself in Thailand.

Not exactly a movie about lurid sex tourism in the Third World, though coming awfully close to it, Teddy Bear does risk credibility at times by conceiving of a protagonist so unfamiliar with the world around him, that he seems to hardly have a clue about the difference between hookers and potential housewives. Not that it matters much, the mountainously ripped recluse has deeply unresolved intimacy issues regarding either. That is, until a gracious and affectionate Thai widow befriends him, and patiently waits for him to respond in kind. Even if he insensitively conceals their relationship like a guilty schoolboy, when confronted by his mother in a seductive underwear corner of the local mall.

Written and directed by Mads Matthiesen, the Directing Award winner this year at Sundance evokes a rare, nearly wordless dramatic eloquence, however offbeat. And even if presenting a pathological family portrait bordering on, but never quite sinking into caricature.

Film Movement Release
Unrated
3 stars

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Chef, author, world traveler Anthony Bourdain is an outspoken trailblazer with unique insights talks about his life, career and Peabody and Emmy-winning TV-series, Parts Unknown.
Kam Williams interviews Gina the Dreamer about Beyond the Lights, a romance drama co-starring Gugu Mbata-Raw and Nate Parker.
Marion Cotillard, who is no stranger to tackling complex characters and complicated women in movies, most notably as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, plays Sandra in Two Days, One Night. An emotionally vulnerable blue collar worker in a plant determine
Stevie Nicks, older and ever bolder turned heads with Stevie's back-to-the-future, pre-technoid selfies at an opening exhibition in the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Manhattan.
Michael Pena, who first appeared in 'To Sir, with Love' and 'End of Watch' director David Ayer talk to Kam Williams about reuniting to collaborate on Fury.
Rosamund Pike stopped by the NY Film Festival where Gone Girl premiered, to weigh in on assorted relevant topics, with Prairie Miller.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site