Headhunters (‘Hodejegerne’)

THRILLER; 1hr 38min (Norwegian and Danish with subtitles)

STARRING: Aksel Hennie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Synnøve Macody Lund

Brush with fame: Hennie

Oslo corporate recruiter Roger Brown (Hennie) is a short man with a tall, willowy wife (Macody Lund as Diana) whose beauty gratifies and threatens him, and an ugly yet striking house he can’t afford. Being hundreds of thousands of kroner in the red, Roger is stealing art to keep afloat. He’s drowning all the same, though, and painfully aware of it. His solution: to nick an original Rubens from the apartment of a wealthy Dutch business heavy (Coster-Waldau) he meets at Diana’s gallery opening. Worth millions, The Calydonian Boar Hunt will set Roger up for life. At any rate, that would be the plan.


And it’s only step one in the slippery chain of surprises in director Morten Tyldum’s urgent, unguessable treatment of Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø’s 2008 novel. What can go wrong crashes and burns, and while it’s a stretch to feel sorry for shifty, calculating Roger, the grotesque velocity of his living nightmare is transfixing. The pressure on pocket rocket Hennie is relentless, with Roger’s wheels spinning in scene after punishing scene. Which they need to be. That’s quite some trip he’s taking.