Jan Troell drama ‘Everlasting Moments’ tops Swedish Oscars
Internationally, the most talked-about Swedish-made release of 2008 has been Tomas Alfredson’s boy-meets-girl-vampire drama Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in. Yet the big winner at the Swedish Oscars – the Swedish Film Institute’s Guldbagge Awards (a.k.a. “Golden Beetle” or “Golden Scarab” Awards) – was a period drama directed by 77-year-old veteran Jan Troell: Everlasting Moments / Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick.
A 2009 Golden Globes contender and Sweden’s Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award entry, Everlasting Moments won five out of its eight Guldbagge Award nominations: Best Film, Best Actress (Maria Heiskanen), Best Actor (Mikael Persbrandt), Best Supporting Actor (Jesper Christensen), and “Best Achievement” (for composer Matti Bye).
Set in the early 1900s, Everlasting Moments follows a working-class Finnish woman in Sweden, Maria (the Finnish-born Maria Heiskanen), who gains a new outlook on life after winning a camera in a lottery. The screenplay was written by Niklas Rådström from a story by Troell and his wife, Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell, whose grandmother was the inspiration for the lead character.
‘Let the Right One In’ in
Now, Let the Right One In was hardly left out in the cold, having topped three categories: Best Director, Best Screenplay (John Ajvide Lindqvist), and Best Cinematography (Hoyte van Hoytema).
And that says something about the Guldbagge Awards jury, as their best-directed and best-written motion picture was not their Best Film. The same split, in fact, took place a mere five years ago; that’s when Mikael Håfström’s Evil was named Best Film while screenwriter-director Björn Runge’s Daybreak / Om jag vänder mig om topped Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Jan Troell’s Swedish Oscars & Academy Award nominations
A Best Director also-ran this year, Jan Troell has previously taken home five Guldbagge Awards:
- Two as Best Director: Here’s Your Life / Här har du ditt liv (1966) and As White as in Snow / Så vit som en snö (2001).
- One for producing the year’s Best Film: Il Capitano (1991), which coincidentally introduced then-newcomer Maria Heiskanen.
- One for Best Cinematography: As White as in Snow, shared with Mischa Gavrjusjov.
- The Guldbagges’ Career Achievement Award (1989).
Besides, at the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony Troell was in the running in the Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay (with Bengt Forslund) categories for his 1971 period drama The Emigrants / Utvandrarna – also a Best Picture nominee that the previous year had been shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film.
Troell’s two other nominees in the latter category were The Emigrants‘ sequel The New Land / Nybyggarna (1972) and The Flight of the Eagle / Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd (1982).
Jan Troell wasn’t the only veteran honored – by way of Best Film winner Everlasting Moments – at this year’s Swedish Oscars. Best remembered for her internationally renowned collaborations with Ingmar Bergman, actress Harriet Andersson (born on Feb. 14, 1932, in Stockholm) was the recipient of the Swedish Film Institute’s 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Among Andersson’s best-known big-screen efforts are the following:
- Ingmar Bergman’s idyllic light comedy Smiles of a Summer Night / Sommarnattens leende (1955), with Andersson as Petra the Maid, one of the characters enjoying the titular joie de vivre alongside Ulla Jacobson, Eva Dahlbeck, Margit Carlqvist, Jarl Kulle, and Gunnar Björnstrand.
- Bergman’s psychological drama Through a Glass Darkly / Såsom i en spegel (1961), in which, as a young schizophrenic, Harriet Andersson delivers a tour de force that earned her a British Academy Award nomination.
- Jörn Donner’s To Love / Att älska (1964), starring Venice Film Festival Best Actress winner Andersson as a widow who becomes involved with foreigner Zbigniew Cybulski.
- Bergman’s All These Women / För att inte tala om alladessakvinnor (1964), a comedic take on Federico Fellini’s 8½. Andersson is seen as one of the women – alongside Bibi Andersson (no connection), Eva Dahlbeck, Karin Kavli, Gertrud Fridh, Mona Malm, and others – with whom biographer Jarl Kulle comes in contact while doing research on his subject.
- Sidney Lumet’s mystery thriller The Deadly Affair (1967), with Andersson supporting Frenchwoman Simone Signoret, Englishman James Mason, and Austrian national Maximilian Schell.
- Bergman’s Cries & Whispers / Viskningar och rop (1972), in which Harriet Andersson delivers another harrowing performance as a terminal cancer patient. Kari Sylwan plays the servant caring for her while Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin are the dying woman’s emotionally detached (and disturbed) sisters. All four actresses won a Special David di Donatello Award from the Academy of Italian Cinema, while Andersson was that year’s Best Actress Guldbagge winner.
- Christina Olofson’s Happy End (1999), with now two-time Best Actress Guldbagge winner Andersson as an eccentric writer who befriends a much younger rocker wannabe (Stefan Norrthon). However, a deep dark secret from the writer’s past threatens to destroy their relationship.
- Lars von Trier’s minimalist drama Dogville (2003), set in small-town Colorado and featuring an all-star international cast that includes Nicole Kidman as a woman on the run from the mob, plus Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Thom Hoffman, John Hurt, James Caan, and Chloë Sevigny. To date, Dogville remains Harriet Andersson’s final film appearance.
The winners of the 2009 Swedish Oscars were announced on Jan. 12 at Cirkus Arena in Stockholm. See below the full list of winners and nominees.
The Swedish Oscars (Guldbagge Awards): Winners & nominations
Involuntary / De ofrivilliga, Prod.: Erik Hemmendorff.
Let the Right One In, Prod.: John Nordling & Carl Molinder.
*Everlasting Moments, Prod.: Thomas Stenderup.
* Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In.
Jan Troell, Everlasting Moments.
Ruben Östlund, Involuntary.
Lena Endre, Heaven’s Heart / Himlens hjärta.
* Maria Heiskanen, Everlasting Moments.
Cecilia Milocco, Involuntary.
* Mikael Persbrandt, Everlasting Moments.
Gustaf Skarsgård, Patrik Age 1.5 / Patrik 1,5.
Peter Stormare, Wolf / Varg.
Best Supporting Actress
* Maria Lundqvist, Heaven’s Heart.
Amanda Ooms, Everlasting Moments.
Marie Robertson, Rallybrudar.
Best Supporting Actor
* Jesper Christensen, Everlasting Moments.
Torkel Petersson, Patrik Age 1.5.
Per Ragnar, Let the Right One In.
* John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In.
Niklas Rådström, Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell & Jan Troell, Everlasting Moments.
Ruben Östlund & Erik Hemmendorff, Involuntary.
Marius Dybwad Brandrud, Involuntary.
* Hoyte van Hoytema, Let the Right One In.
Jan Troell & Mischa Gavrjusjov, Everlasting Moments.
* Composer Matti Bye, Everlasting Moments.
Production Designer Eva Norén, Let the Right One In.
Per Sundström and sound crew members Jonas Jansson & Patrik Strömdahl, Let the Right One In.
Best Documentary Film
Mr. Governor / H:r Landshövding, dir.: Måns Månsson.
An Extraordinary Study in Human Degradation / En enastående studie i mänsklig förnedring, dir.: Patrik Eriksson.
*Maggie in Wonderland / Maggie vaknar på balkongen, dir.: Mark Hammarberg, Ester Martin Bergsmark & Beatrice Maggie Andersson.
Best Short Film & Best Documentary Film
Puppetboy / Dockpojken, dir.: Johannes Nyholm.
Instead of Abracadabra / Istället för abrakadabra, dir.: Patrik Eklund.
*Lies / Lögner, dir.: Jonas Odell.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Harriet Andersson.
The Gullspira Award (“for extraordinary contributions in films for children”): Georg Riedel.
Audience Award:Arn: The Kingdom at Road’s End / Arn Riket vid vägens slut, dir.: Peter Flinth.
Bavarian Film Awards: Anti-capitalism German terrorists & Oskar Schindler of Nanking
From Sweden to southeastern Germany: The 2009 Bavarian Film Awards’ Best Film (or “Best Production”) winners – it was a tie – were two period political dramas, one of which has yet to be screened in German cinemas:
- Uli Edel’s The Baader Meinhof Complex / Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Martina Gedeck as Red Army Faction terrorists Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, who attempted to rid Germany of capitalism by assassinating and/or kidnapping political and business leaders from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s.
- Florian Gallenberger’s $20 million budget John Rabe, the Schindler’s List-reminiscent story of the Nanking-based German industrialist and Nazi Party member whose efforts helped to save the lives of approximately 200,000 Chinese civilians following the brutal Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930s. In the title role, Ulrich Tukur was the Bavarian Film Awards’ Best Actor. John Rabe opens in Germany on April 2.
A curious aside proving the interconnectedness of the cinematic universe: Tukur portrayed Andreas Baader in Reinhard Hauff’s 1986 drama Stammheim - The Baader-Meinhof Gang on Trial / Stammheim - Die Baader-Meinhof-Gruppe vor Gericht.
More awards season news: Costume Designers Guild & Oscar-geared Palm Springs Film Festival winners
In other awards season news, Danny Boyle’s sleeper hit Slumdog Millionaire, Saul Dibb’s opulent The Duchess, and Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster The Dark Knight topped the Costume Designers Guild Awards’ three feature film categories.
At Southern California’s Academy Award-focused Palm Springs Film Festival, Götz Spielmann’s Austrian thriller Revanche – the tale of an Austrian ex-con (Johannes Krisch), a Ukrainian sex worker (Irina Potapenko), and a bank robbery – was the International Federation of Film Critics’ (FIPRESCI) choice among this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entries.
Lastly, the Vancouver Film Critics Circle selected Gus Van Sant’s political drama Milk – about slain, openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk – as 2008’s Best Film, while the Iowa Film Critics Association and the North Texas Film Critics Association opted for awards season fave Slumdog Millionaire.
Below are the following 2008–2009 awards season lists: Bavarian Film Awards, Costume Designers Guild (feature films & TV movies/mini-series only), Palm Springs Film Festival (partial list), plus the Vancouver, Iowa, and North Texas film critics’ winners.
Bavarian Film Awards
Best Production (tie):The Baader Meinhof Complex & John Rabe.
Best Director: Caroline Link, A Year Ago in Winter / Im Winter ein Jahr.
Best Actor: Ulrich Tukur, John Rabe.
Best Actress: Ursula Werner, Cloud 9 / Wolke 9.
Best Screenplay: Gernot Gricksch, Robert Zimmermann Is Tangled Up in Love / Robert Zimmermann wundert sich über die Liebe.
Best Young Director: Jan Fehse, At Any Second / In jeder Sekunde.
Best Young Performer: Karoline Herfurth, A Year Ago in Winter.
Best Cinematography: Michael Hammon, Cloud 9.
Best Production Design/Costume Design:Buddenbrooks.
Best Youth Film:Krabat / Krabat and the Legend of the Satanic Mill.
Special Award: Michael Bully Herbig & Franz Xaver Kroetz, Die Geschichte vom Brandner Kaspar.
VGF Award for Best New Producer: Münchner Filmwerkstatt for The Red Spot / Der rote Punkt.
Audience Award:Rabbit Without Ears / Keinohrhasen, dir.: Til Schweiger.
Costume Designers Guild winners & nominations
Changeling - Deborah Hopper.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Jacqueline West.
*The Duchess - Michael O’Connor.
Milk - Danny Glicker.
Revolutionary Road - Albert Wolsky.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Isis Mussenden.
*The Dark Knight - Lindy Hemming.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Sanja Milkovic Hays.
Made for Television Movie or Mini-Series
Bernard and Doris - Joseph Aulisi.
Coco Chanel - Stefano De Nardis.
Cranford - Jenny Beavan.
*John Adams - Donna Zakowska.
Sense and Sensibility - Michele Clapton.
Swarovski Presidents Award: Michael Douglas.
Distinguished Collaborator Award: James Burrows.
Lacoste Career Achievement in Film Award: Marilyn Vance.
Palm Springs Film Festival winners
FIPRESCI Prize (for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission):Revanche (Austria), dir.: Götz Spielmann.
FIPRESCI Best Actor Award: Natar Ungalaaq, The Necessities of Life / Ce qu’il faut pour vivre (Canada), dir.: Benoît Pilon.
FIPRESCI Best Actress Award: Martina Gusman, Lion’s Den / Leonera (Argentina), dir.: Pablo Trapero.
New Voices/New Visions Award:Hooked / Pescuit sportiv (Romania / France), dir.: Adrian Sitaru.
Special Jury Mention:Rain (Bahamas), dir.: Maria Govan.
John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature (Narrative or Documentary): Amin Matalqa for Captain Abu Raed (Jordan).
Bridging the Borders Award:Waltz with Bashir (Israel), dir.: Ari Folman.
Best Narrative Feature:Departures (Japan), dir.: Yojiro Takita.
Best Documentary Feature:Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (U.S.), dir.: Eric Bricker.
Vancouver Film Critics winners
Best Foreign Language Film:The Edge of Heaven / Auf der anderen Seite, dir.: Fatih Akin.
Best Canadian Film:It’s Not Me, I Swear! / C’est pas moi, je le jure!.
Best Director:David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Best Actress:Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road & The Reader.
Best Actor:Sean Penn, Milk.
Best Supporting Actor:Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.
Best Supporting Actress: Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married.
Best Director of a Canadian Film: Philippe Falardeau, It’s Not Me, I Swear!.
Best Actor in a Canadian Film: Natar Ungalaaq, The Necessities of Life.
Best Actress in a Canadian Film: Marianne Fortier, Mommy Is at the Hairdresser’s / Maman est chez le coiffeur.
Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film: Randy Quaid, Real Time.
Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film: Suzanne Clément, It’s Not Me, I Swear!.
Best British Columbia Film:Fifty Dead Men Walking, dir.: Kari Skogland.
Iowa Film Critics winners
Best Film:Slumdog Millionaire.
Best Actress:Meryl Streep, Doubt.
Best Supporting Actress:Penélope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona.
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.
Best Animated Feature:WALL-E, dir.: Andrew Stanton.
Best Picture Yet to Open in Iowa:The Wrestler, dir.: Darren Aronofsky.
North Texas Film Critics winners
Best Film:Slumdog Millionaire.
Best Foreign Language Film:Let the Right One In.
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Doubt.
Best Actor:Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon.
Best Supporting Actress:Amy Adams, Doubt.
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.
Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Best Documentary:Young @ Heart, dir.: Stephen Walker & Sally George.
Best Animated Film:WALL-E.
Swedish Film Institute website.
Image of Maria Heiskanen in Jan Troell’s Everlasting Moments: Final Cut Productions.
Ulrich Tukur John Rabe image: Majestic Filmverleih.
Harriet Andersson image ca. 1960s.
“Jan Troell & Harriet Andersson Swedish Oscars Honor + German Terrorists & Oskar Schindler of Nanking” last updated in October 2018.