Five fabulous must-see movies at the first Scandi Film Festival Aotearoa
They are the collection of European countries that gave the world Ikea, Lego and Hygge.
Nations with fine cinematic traditions whose most famous exports include Britte Ekland, Mads Mikkelsen and Bergmans Ingrid and Ingmar.
Now, for the first time, a selection of the region’s latest films have been brought together for the inaugural Scandi Film Festival Aotearoa.
From April 21, 10 films from the quartet (Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway) will screen in select cinemas in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Nelson. Lineup includes Norwegian action drama The Burning Seaa biopic by Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck (Helen), Swedish comedy The Jonsson Gang and Finnish and Danish comedy-drama Games that people play and Persona non grata.
Things to watch had a chance to see some of the other titles and below are our thoughts on why you should check them out.
* The Bad Guys: Finally, a fun animated animal adventure for ALL the family
* The Lost City: Bullock and Tatum sparkle, but Pitt sets this action-comedy on fire
* Sandra Bullock’s 10 Best Movies (And Where You Can Watch Them Right Now)
* Twenty 21st century movies that will leave their mark (and where you can watch them)
Diana’s wedding (Norway)
While most of the eyes of the world were focused on the nuptials in London on July 29, 1981, a much smaller ceremony was taking place in a factory canteen in a small town in Norway. In the presence of their very own Diana, their beloved newborn daughter, Liv (Marie Blokhus) and Terje (Pål Sverre Hagen) marry and prepare to embark on adventures together. This includes moving to a new house, directly across from another pair of recent parents Unni (Jannike Kruse) and Olav (Olav Waastad).
All six will have complicated relationships, filled with trials and tribulations, betrayals and moments of happiness, with audiences revisiting them at pivotal times in their lives and Princess Diana of England.
A kind of more comedic version of Ingmar Bergman Scenes from a weddingdirector and co-writer Charlotte Blom does a great job of crafting complex characters that the viewer can’t help but care about.
Everybody Hates Johan (Norway)
Evoking the memories of the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (deli, Amelie), Hallvar Witzø’s whimsical, goofy comedy focuses on the wild life of Johan Grande (Pål Sverre Hagen).
The son of a pair of infamous idealistic explosives experts, he is orphaned at a young age (when one of their missions takes the form of a pear) and sent to live on a remote lighthouse island with his aunt and uncle. . Finding happiness in pursuing his parents’ obsession, he also enjoys the company of Solvor (Live Ovedie Langklopp Svenning), until one of his loves accidentally hurts the other. As part of the resulting fallout, he is forced to leave his home, hoping that Solvor will still be waiting for him when he finally feels he is safe to return.
Filled with the tongue-in-cheek Norwegian humor that made movies like kitchen stories, O’Horten and Oscar nominee this year The worst person in the world such a delight, this is a film featuring quirky characters and crazy situations, but with a potentially heartwarming premise at its core.
Ladies of Steel (Finland)
Comedy fans who are supposed to be mature adults who behave badly (or dishonestly) like Girls Calendar, grumpy old men and The Bucket List should definitely check out this sometimes tumultuous story of three disparate sisters.
Believing she killed her husband with a frying pan, 74-year-old Inkeri (Leena Uotila) considers turning herself in to the police, but is persuaded by her free-spirited older brother and lawyer Sylvi (Saara Pakkasvirta) at least go on a road trip and have fun before facing his crime. Joined by their more cautious older sister, Raili (Seela Sella), they embark on a series of scrapes and misadventures, while reconnecting with each other and themselves. And it’s not long before Inkeri has a new goal, to find the man who got away.
Features some Waking up Ned Devine-nudity, family reunions gone wrong, and plenty of laughs.
A taste of hunger (Denmark)
Ancient The iron Throne Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays a high-class chef in this gripping (and tantalizing) tale of unbridled ambition, marital infidelity and Michelin stars.
Son Carsten and his wife Maggie (Katrine Greis-Rosenthal) have worked hard to build their restaurant Malus into a successful restaurant. But, as they desperately try to gain the global recognition that will ensure more financial stability, a potential revelation seems set to tear them apart. Someone sent Carsten a letter saying Maggie loves someone else. While she initially intercepts it, she will have to make increasingly desperate efforts to keep the message from spoiling everything.
A must for fans of food porn and lovers of stimulating and tension-filled relationship dramas.
Tuesday Club (Sweden)
If you’re not used to seeing Peter Stormare playing rough in Hollywood action movies or TV shows like Prison Break, then this romantic comedy-drama will be a welcome surprise.
Now 68, he plays Henrik, a renowned chef and somewhat reluctant teacher at the start of a weekly Pan-Asian cooking class. Unimpressed by his sextet of students and their inability to follow his rules, he gradually changes his mind and is softened by their more endearing qualities. This especially applies to Karin (Marie Richardson), whose 40-year marriage literally crumbled after discovering an intimate photo of another woman on her husband’s phone. Introduced to class by a long-lost classmate, she not only rediscovers long-dormant talents, but new feelings.
Offering charming, undemanding and enjoyable viewing, Annika Appelin’s film features memorable characters, food-hungry creations and a terrific country take on Roxette’s film. The look.
The first Scandi Film Festival Aotearoa will take place in select cinemas in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch from April 21. For more information, locations and session times, go to scandifilmfestival.co.nz