The Day Will Come: Netflix ~ Non-Spoiler Review

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Image shows photo montage of scenes from The Day Will Come. Central photo is the theatrical poster for the film.


The Day Will Come, aka Der kommer en dag (2016) is a Danish drama film. On Netflix it is split into 3 episodes, but it is a movie. 1 hr 59 min. Cert 15 U.K.


Lars Mikkelsen as Principal Frederik Heck
Sofie Gråbøl as Teacher Lilian
Harald Kaiser Hermann as Elmer
Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt as Erik
Laurids Skovgaard Andersen as Tøger
Lars Ranthe as Head Teacher Toft Lassen
Søren Sætter-Lassen as Teacher Aksel
David Dencik as Inspector Hartmann
Sonja Richter as The Mother
Solbjørg Højfeldt as Mrs. Oskarson
Paw Henriksen as Uncle


Director: Jesper W. Nielsen
Cinematographer: Erik Zappon
Writer: Søren Sveistrup
Production Design: Sabina Hviid
Costume: Stina Thaning


Two brothers, Erik and Elmer, are sent to Godhavn Orphanage when their mother falls ill and can no longer look after them. At the orphanage violence and humiliation are part of everyday life.


The movie is based on real stories from Godhavn and other orphanages in 1960s Denmark, where lots of boys were victims of violence, sexual abuse and medical neglect.

The Day Will Come is set in the year 1969 and the theme of space exploration runs throughout.

Lars Mikkelsen (Ride Upon the Storm, The Killing, House of Cards) and Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing – Fortitude, The Restaurant) will be recognised by many but other faces which may be familiar are:
Lars Ranthe ~ The Hunt, Seaside Hotel, Ride Upon the Storm, Greyzone, Kriger, The Bridge, Dicte: Crime Reporter)
Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt ~ Follow the Money, The Rain
Søren Sætter-Lassen ~ The Killing, Seaside Hotel
David Dencik ~ Chernobyl, Quicksand, McMafia, Follow the Money, The Borgias, A Royal Affair
Sonja Richter ~ The Bridge, The Killing, Follow the Money
Solbjørg Højfeldt ~ Ride Upon the Storm, The Killing


At first I was apprehensive about watching The Day Will Come because having an idea as to the subject matter, and that this is drawn from real events, I knew it was unlikely to be an easy watch. This is, without doubt, a harrowing watch however it is not without hope and is not all doom and gloom.

The acting in this film is, without exception, very good. The two young actors who play Elmer and his older brother, Erik, hold the whole film together brilliantly with their nuanced performances. The other boys also hold their own and I particularly liked the device of using a boy we get to know as the narrator.

The adult actors also really impress. Lars Mikkelsen portrays the Principal of the orphanage as a man with a “calling” not without some redeeming features but who is equally very violent and cruel. In truth I could have happily hit him myself, or attacked a piece of his property.

Sophie Gråbøl is excellent as the sympathetic teacher and it is through her we can see how good people can be pressurised into confirming but who ultimately has a clear moral compass.

Lars Ranthe is great as the “oh-so-keen-to-impress” psychopathic Head Teacher who metes out physical punishment at the drop of a hat. And yet he is almost a boy himself in his need for approval from the Principal.

The cinematography of The Day Will Come is impressive and the costuming a definite achievement.

The overall atmosphere for the majority of the film is one of threat and tension. This is however balanced out by some lovely, sweet and truly uplifting scenes. The viewer becomes almost as frightened as the boys themselves as to what could happen.

The Day Will Come is a film that made me VERY angry, often! We see a systemic failure of child protection with a result of abuse (of all kinds), medical neglect/negligence and cruelty. Most of the adults simply fail miserably in nurturing these boys in any way.

As this is a non-spoiler review I will say no more of the ultimate outcome. Not knowing, combined with the narration, really ups the ante of deep concern and anxiety in the viewer.

I highly recommend this film however expect to be horrified at times, it is harrowing.


The Day Will Come won 9 awards and was nominated for a further 8. The wins included:
Bodil (2017) Best Supporting Actor, Lars Mikkelsen
Bodil (2017) Best Supporting Actress, Sofie Gråbøl
Robert (2017) Best Film
Robert (2017) Best Original Screenplay
Robert (2017) Best Supporting Actor, Lars Mikkelsen
Robert (2017) Best Supporting Actress, Sofie Gråbøl
Robert (2017) Best Production Design
Robert (2017) Best Costume Design
Norwegian International Film Festival (2016) FIPRESCI Prize


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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll definitely keep it in mind.
    We’re used to seeing Mikkelsen as sympathetic characters, so I’m glad to be forewarned that his role in this is the opposite, apparently.

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