The allure of the Scandinavians is no longer reduced to IKEA sofas, oily fish and ABBA tunes; in recent years they’ve also made some exceptionally great films.
Much like their violent and burly ancestors, the filmmakers of Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden do well to exceed our expectations of such small and isolated countries. With visually arresting art house flicks, Academy-award winners and summer blockbusters apiece, they are certainly on the march to victory!
Viking jokes aside, in the last decade Scandinavian films and directors have left behind the ghost of Ingmar Berman and films drenched in downward-spiralling misery to secure international accolades and widespread attention. Sweden’s Tomas Alfredson proved that a big-budget wasn’t all that necessary for making what is arguably the best vampire film to date with Let the Right One In, and fellow countryman Niels Arden Oplev did more than justice to Stieg Larsson’s infamous novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Hailing from across the waters in Denmark, Lone Scherfig showed that language was no obstacle when she filmed her flawlessly British and award-winning An Education, while Lars von Trier continues to make immaculate works such as the chilling Antichrist and more recently, the beautifully facetious Melancholia.
There’s nothing worse than a bad Hollywood remake (there are exceptions of course, but most of them are just plain awful) so if you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace the Nordic and add these worthy editions to your list of must-see films…