Screen Time: 85%
Age: 7 years old
Directed: Anders Morgenthaler
Genre: Crime, Drama
Simon is a police officer who recently lost custody of his six-year old son Louie in a divorce. In desperation, he abducts his son and takes him to the country where they hide out in a vacated summerhouse. Simon wants to spend one last holiday alone with his son, but their week together brings back a nightmare from his own childhood, reviving bad memories, and soon the ghosts from his past threaten to drive Simon mad.
Movie ReviewsThe director about Villads (Louie):
Villads Milthers Fritsche, who plays the boy, Louie, is a natural talent. The scenes between him and veteran actor Kim Bodnia are natural and extremely intense. All along, Morgenthaler's attitude was that he didn't want the kind of kid that could be in any Danish children's film. "Films where the kids are so perky and peppy, with freckles on their nose and blond hair," he says. "That's so awful. I wanted a child who could act in a film for adults. Echo is a film for adults with a child in a leading role. He never cracks wise or cocks his head."
Although the director is convinced Fritsche will be besieged once "Echo" opens, he still hopes the media and the industry will let the boy be.
"I like him a lot and I would prefer that he didn't act in any other movies, because I think it would be too destructive for him," Morgenthaler says. "He uses too much of himself. My experience with other child actors is that they see it as a game. They have a detached way of acting. This guy runs the full range of emotions, especially with Kim, who also gets extremely involved emotionally."
Morgenthaler considers Bodnia a strong actor, the kind who will take over a film if the director doesn't know what he wants.
"It's all good that he pours his whole self into it, also considering the boy's character," the director says. "I believe the character he is playing, and that's what counts. I left them alone a lot for a month and a half or so before we started shooting. They developed a confidence that I wasn't a part of. They were always going around laughing and whispering together, but at a certain point I took over. If I hadn't been able to do that, I would have let the whole thing get away from me. It’s very much about showing who’s in charge. It's not about arguing, the whole alpha-male game of screaming and shouting – Kim is an alpha male – standing there yelling at each other. You have to have such a grip on the characters and the story that any uncertainty always comes out to your benefit."