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The Kindness of Strangers

A group of lonely souls find each other in a Christmassy, snowy New York.


Lone Sherfig had made a Christmas fairy tale: THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS is set in New York in the winter in perhaps the present day, but maybe not. The haircuts are contemporary, the cars and shirts are older, the macbook you can clearly see at some point is definitely from this decade, but no one has a cell phone. Maybe they all just don‘t use one. In this era, which looks very similar to ours, but not quite, a group of lonely souls meet, and they all have something hazy about them. They look like people you meet see on the street, but they aren‘t entirely of this world. Clara, played by Zoe Kazan with big eyes and a dress that‘s inappropriate for the era, has fled from her abusive husband to New York with her two small boys. Since he‘s a cop, they can‘t ask for help anywhere. Jeff (Caleb Landy Jones) is fired from one job after the other. One boss asks him “tell me one thing you‘re good at, just one.“ Jeff can‘t think of anything. He lands in a soup kitchen where lonely nurse Alice (Andrea Riseborough) works. She also runs a discussion group about forgiveness which shy lawyer John Peter and his former client, the misanthropic Marc, regularly go to. And then there‘s also a dilapidated Russian restaurant that belongs to old Timofey (Bill Nighy) who only serves caviar because the kitchen is so bad and hates talking about business. THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS is like a children‘s book or a young adult novel, everything is a bit “nicer than life,“ a bit surreal, no one is even a little ambivalent, and naturally, fitting for Christmas, all the troubles have a solution. The strangers become friends and the abandoned-looking restaurant becomes a kind of home.

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Dänemark/Kanada 2019, 112 min
Language: English
Genre: Drama
Director: Lone Scherfig
Author: Lone Scherfig
DOP: Sebastian Blenkov
Montage: Cam McLauchlin
Music: Andrew Lockington
Distributor: Alamode
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Tahar Rahim, Andrea Riseborough, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel, Bill Nighy
FSK: 12
Release: 12.12.2019




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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