Attention movie buffs! If you’re looking to cozy up and watch some Norwegian films this winter, here are five classics to check out.
“Max Manus: Man of War” (2008)
Starring Aksel Hennie and Agnes Kittelsen, this film is based on the true story of Norway’s most celebrated World War II resistance fighter, Max Manus. After fighting against the Russians, Manus returned to a German-occupied Norway and joined the resistance movement led by Gunnar Sønsteby. His heroic actions helped liberate Norway from the occupying Nazi forces. The film received seven Amanda Awards in 2009, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Hennie and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Kittelsen. Fun fact! The April 2011 issue of Viking featured an interview with Sønsteby.
The offbeat comedy film follows two middle-aged men, Elling and Kjell, as they readjust to everyday life after being released from a state institution. Living in an apartment in Oslo, the men help each other gain independence, overcome phobias and embrace urban life around them. The film is based on the best-selling novel, “Blood Brothers,” by Ingvar Ambjørnsen.
Based on Jo Nesbø’s best-selling novel from 2008, the film follows successful headhunter Roger Brown. To subsidize his extravagant lifestyle with gallery-owner wife Diana, Brown steals works of art on the side. He learns that a new client, Clas Greve, is in possession of a very valuable painting. Hoping to end his financial problems once and for all, Brown starts to plan his biggest heist yet. Chaos ensues, and he soon becomes a hunted man.
This documentary follows the epic journey of Norwegian biologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl on his 4,300-nautical-mile expedition across the Pacific Ocean. He set sail on his raft, named Kon-Tiki, from Peru in 1947 bound for the Polynesian islands. Heyerdahl wanted to prove that ancient South American natives could have populated Polynesia by sailing across the Pacific Ocean. After 101 days on the open sea battling the elements, Heyerdahl and his crew arrived on the Raroia reef inside Polynesia. The expedition was hailed as one of the most daring and fantastic feats of courage of its time.
In 2012, Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg brought an updated version of Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 adventure to the big screen. With a budget of $15 million, “Kon-Tiki” is Norway’s most expensive film of all time. Filmed in 60 days in six countries, scenes were shot in both Norwegian and English. It opened in Norway in September 2012 to huge box office numbers and quickly became the highest-grossing film in Scandinavia. An English version hit American screens in April 2013. That same year, “Kon-Tiki” received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film.