Movie Review: A Noble Intention

‘A Noble Intention’ is a riveting 2015 Dutch film that forms part of a four movie package of Dutch films recently purchased at Cannes by Netflix.

The four films are Ivona Juka’s ‘You Carry Me’, Benny Fredman’s Jerusalem-set action thriller ‘Suicide’, and two Dutch box office hits ‘Bon Bini Holland’ and this film (also known as ‘Public Works’).

The movie is based on the 1999 hit novel ‘Publieke Werken’ by Thomas Rosenboom.

 

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Rosenboom is a Dutch author who features well-researched characters and circumstances that fit precisely within the historical context of a story.

 

And in this case, the building of the grand Victoria Hotel in 1888 Amsterdam, and the stubborn violin maker who refuses to sell his house.

 

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Expertly directed by Joram Lursen, the film manages to walk a fine line between pathos, determination and arrogance.

 

A Dutch box office success and an award winner on multiple counts, this film had me glued to my seat with it’s plot twists, superb performances and beautiful cinematography.

 

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Gijs Scholten van Aschat plays Vedder, the somewhat smug violin maker who holds out on selling his house.

 

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Jacon Derwig plays Vedder’s painfully uncomfortable cousin, Anise. His was the emotional journey I really followed.

 

Moving from dark to light throughout the film, ‘A Noble Intention’ was satisfying on a number of levels. I highly recommend this film but I will give a violence warning for the opening scene.

Spoken in Dutch and subtitled in English, I was unable to post the official trailer for you to check out, but it can be found on Vimeo.

*** Spoiler alert *** stop here if you plan to watch this film.

 

 

Although the film was shot in Hungary on a reconstructed set of the hotel and Vedder’s house,  the originals have stood all these years – and are still there today. Simply astounding.

 

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