It’s 1976 and in a small Danish town, the air is pregnant with music and racing hormones. Martin (14) is on the eve of his first communion. In the middle of this already turbulent time, Martin’s mother suddenly dies. With an over-emotional brother and a completely devastated father, Martin basically faces it all on his own. No wonder that Martin throws himself into his friends, his possible girlfriend and speed walking.
Speed Walking has heartrending moments, but in general the tone is strikingly lively and down-to-earth. That is partly because of the apparently impassive face of the protagonist, Villads Bøye, as well as fine supporting roles by Borgen stars Sidse Babett Knudsen and Pilou Asbæk, and the wonderful art direction and soundtrack. The film also distinguishes itself with its cheerful, matter-of-fact approach to sex; the adolescents are perfectly free to investigate their preferences. They don’t take too much notice of their adult role models, because they really make a mess of things.