The movie was written, directed and produced by Vinterberg himself over a period of five years. In difference from his earlier Danish films , this movie was entirely in english and featured among others Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, and Sean Penn. The movie was not very successful, and critics found it very complicated and hard to understand.
At a certain point during production Vinterberg called up Ingmar Bergman and asked him to come and help him finish the film, as he felt he could not complete it himself. He recalls that:
The movie also breaks every rule of the Dogme 95 manifest that Vinterberg authored with Lars von Trier.