This month I’ve gone Scandanavian.
We Are The Best! (Vi är bäst!)
dir. Lukas Moodysson (★★★★★)
After loving Moodysson’s “Together” and being destroyed by “Lilya 4-Ever” his last few films held very little interest for me, but thankfully “We Are The Best!” – based on his wife’s graphic novel – is fantastic.
The story is a heartwarming coming of age tale of three 12/13 year old girls who form a punk band in Stockholm in 1982, I get this might not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, but trust me. The interaction between the girls as their friendships and their musical “abilities” develop is brilliantly played out (the three actresses combined even won the Best Actress award at JDIFF this year) and allows for organic humour to fill the film, the naturalistic style of the camerawork which is jerky and almost documentary-like also helps.
It will definitely be in my top three films of the year come December anyway.
A Hijacking (Kapringen)
dir. Tobias Lindholm (★★★★½)
With the same basic premise as Captain Phillips (Somali pirates taking over a cargo ship for ransom), the makers of “Børgen” take a different tack and juxtapose the negotiations involved in trying to free the prisoners for the least amount of money possible and the increasingly exasperated crew stuck onboard.
Pilou Asbæk plays the main protagonist, the chef stranded onboard and Søren Malling is absolutely amazing as the CEO and main negotiator for the company, both of whom fans of Børgen will know well.
A Royal Affair (En kongelig affære)
dir. Nicolaj Arcel (★★★★)
From the writers of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie comes this very watchable Danish period drama set in the 18th Century that deals with an Enlightenment inspired doctor (Mads Mikkelsen) who gains the ear and trust of the King and Queen of Denmark.
His influence begins when he is hired to be the King’s personal physician, whose mental illness has become a problem, and sets about destroying the aristocracy as it was. However complications ensue when the Queen and the doctor begin to fall for each other.
If you don’t want to take my word for how good a film it is, Mark Kermode made it his film of 2012.
dir. Morten Tyldum (★★★★)
Aksel Hennie plays Roger Brown a headhunter in the corporate world who’s also an art thief on the side, it’s when interviewing these candidates that he learns about their art collections and whether they’ll be out of the house at some stage, handy. He claims he mainly steals the artwork to get the money needed keep his beautiful art trader wife happy. When his wife introduces him to Clas Greve (played by Game of Throne’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) a former CEO of a tech firm, that Brown immediately smells trouble.
It’s a fantastically fun thriller with tongues lodged firmly in cheeks, really slickly directed and some amazing scenes not for the squeamish.