Blind named Film of the Year by Norwegian Film Critics’ Association
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Eskil Vogt’s feature debut has been named Best Norwegian Film of the Year, while The Messenger Award went to Anja Breien
Norwegian director Eskil Vogt, who had delivered the scripts for two award-winning features before he directed his own – Blind [+see also:
interview: Eskil Vogt
interview: Eskil Vogt
film profile] (2014) – yesterday (8 April) added the prize for Best Norwegian Film of the Year from the Norwegian Film Critics’ Association to the list of 12 local and international awards that his first effort has won so far.
“Blind is a comedy that doesn’t invoke hysterical laughter, yet it is packed with smart, cheeky humour. It is a relationship drama that doesn’t roar about how hard it is to live together, but draws a bead on the conflicts. It is also a psychological thriller – not spooky, but playful, strange and funny in a dark way. It oozes a creativity you have to be, well, blind not to see,” said Norwegian director Margreth Olin on behalf of the critics’ jury.
Launched at Sundance in Park City, Utah, where it won the World Cinema Screenwriting Award, Blind also received the Europa Cinemas Label at the Berlinale and the New Talent Grand PIX at Copenhagen. Ellen Dorrit Petersen and Henrik Rafaelsen star in the portrait of a woman who has lost her sight and retreats to the safety of her home. But her real problems are within, not beyond the apartment walls.
Norwegian actress Andrea Bræin Hovig was honoured for Best Professional Achievement of the Year, for her performance in Dag Johan Haugerud’s I'm the One You Want, in which she plays a 30-year-old high-school teacher who falls in love with a 15-year-old pupil and starts a relationship with him. “Now and then, critics write that an actor carries a film, and it could not be more appropriate than here: Hovig captures the conflicting feelings of her character, through tiny details in body language and intonation. Her face is a densified filmic space, inviting identification and participation, without demanding loyalty from the viewer,” the jury explained.
The critics’ The Messenger Award, which rewards an individual for “having enriched film culture by spreading knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm for film as art”, went to a filmmaker “who will this year celebrate several anniversaries – not only her own 75th birthday, but also the fact that it was 40 years ago that the first part of her Wives trilogy was launched to the public in a film world dominated by men.” Veteran Norwegian director Anja Breien – who has through her films influenced the Norwegian history of culture in an era of political, social and ideological upheavals – thus received the prize for her “tireless commitment to film art”.