Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” is about human prey. Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen, who won the Best Actor award at Cannes in 2012) is a divorced Danish elementary school teacher in a small rural community who is caught up in a nightmare when a little girl, the daughter of his best friend, tells a sexual lie about him.
The ensuing hysteria has a canned, preordained quality. With few exceptions, no one in the town believes Lucas’s innocence, despite ample reason to do so. Nor does Lucas avail himself of a lawyer. The subject matter, already troubling, is made even more so by Vinterberg’s almost sadomasochistic penchant for propping up Lucas’s martyrdom. He’s gunning for prey, too. Grade: B- (Rated R for sexual content including a graphic image, violence, and language.)