Carl Th. Dreyer | 1955 | ★★★★★
When he discovers that his youngest son intends to ask for the hand of a girl belonging to a different faith, the patriarch of the Borgen household makes known his displeasure. Never the less, when the boy’s approach is rebuffed by the young woman’s father for that very same reason, the gruff old man hastily changes his tune. However, when the wife of his eldest son becomes gravely ill during child birth, prompting his middle son – who believes himself to be Jesus Christ – to predict her imminent death, the priorities of all concerned quickly alter, in this formally elegant, thematically dense theological enquiry. Exquisite photography, graceful direction, and affecting performances combine to almost overwhelmingly potent effect.