Has Danish director Jeanette Nordahl, in her debut feature, invented the tender mob movie? Or is life on the compound with Danes who rob, debt-collect, and home invade just inevitably going to fall more on the subdued end of the gangsterdom barometer than your average Sopranos episode? The calm atmosphere of the film, in its early going, is as disarming of an experience for us as it is for Ida (Sandra Gulberg Kampp), newly orphaned at 17, whom guidance counselors relocate to the comfortable embrace of her warm if overfamiliar aunt Bodil (Sidse Babett Knudsen). Bodil’s charming home is the opposite of an evil stepmother’s lair, even if it is full of her bruiser sons, and even if she does give them wet kisses on the mouth all the time and criticize their choice in girlfriends.

What makes this lifestyle so unusual is how out in the open it all transpires. Shot mostly in daylight, the action follows Ida on a series of transparently violent jobs with Bodil’s sons. But they don’t seem any more concerned about her presence in driveways where men get dragged out of their garages with blood on their hoodies than they do with letting Ida see Bodil go all capo/den mother on them with those long, weird kisses. Kampp’s performance tracks the slow immersion into a life of crime with more patience, even sweetness, than we’re used to seeing. Her awakening to the darker sides of that life is fierce, but even at that point, it’s the film’s uncanny air of tenderness that predominates. 90 min.

In wide release