Nordic Watchlist’s Best of 2020 Awards – Part 1

2020 saw the Nordic Watchlist switch from a little side project interviewing a selection of our favourite people in entertainment and culture, to fully focusing on all things Nordic due to our love and passion for the Nordic region – and we’ve had fantastic success!

We have loved meeting all the wonderful people we have worked with so far on this journey and we can’t wait to see what 2021 will bring. As we have discovered so many amazing talents, films, TV shows and more this year, we wanted to do our own awards to round up and highlight what we enjoyed the most. So here are our Nordic Awards Part 1!

Best Nordic Movie

  1. Druk/Another Round and Koko Di Koko Da
  2. Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
  3. Echo
  4. A White White Day
  5. Aurora

In joint first place is Denmark’s Another Round, which we caught at the London International Film Festival online, with Sweden’s Koko Di Koko Da which was released to buy through Amazon and other outlets.

Another Round is about four friends who decide to test the theory that staying the right level of drunk can enhance your life and performance, which creates both comical and heart-breaking results. This is, in our opinion, Mads Mikkelsen at his absolute best but the cast around him are equally captivating. Without giving too much away, the finale of the movie is just absolutely brilliant and will make you want to start the movie all over again.

In Koko Di Koko Da we geared ourselves up for a psychological horror yet despite it’s menacing cover and premise, Johannes Nyholm’s movie delivers humour, heartbreak, and terror as a couple try to cope with the grief of losing their daughter. It is a horror but with lots of layers, metaphors and heart – we can’t think of another horror movie that left us with this feeling and tears in our eyes.

As always there has been some really magnificent movies released here in the UK this year. Nordic movies are not the easiest to find and that is something we hope we can start to change for the future. Some movies we have managed to find and absolutely loved include Finnish movie Dogs Don’t Wear Pants which we managed to buy on DVD from an Australian website. Two Icelandic movies are in our top 5, A White White Day and the stunning Echo which are both currently out available MUBI. Lastly, on Amazon you can catch the comical and heart-warming Aurora.

What has been your favourite Nordic movie in 2020? Comment below or send us a message on Instagram.

Best Nordic TV Show

  1. Stockholm Requiem
  2. Caliphate
  3. Love & Anarchy
  4. Twin
  5. The Lawyer (Season 2)

We are aware that the number of Nordic TV shows becoming accessible here in the UK (and around the world) is getting better and better and as we look to 2021 it seems more and more shows are being released which is great!

BBC 4 brought back The Bridge for a fourth season before bringing us two new series with Denmark’s DNA and Iceland’s The Valhalla Murders which were equally excellent.

But it was Walter Presents’ Stockholm Requiem which really stood out and gripped us this year – in our opinion it was the closest to filling that void that is so hugely missed with the ending of The Bridge. The themes were dark, the cast absolutely excellent with a particularly on-form performance from Liv Mjönes. Also, we have to add that the music sequence was equally fantastic. If you haven’t had a chance to catch this yet then you really should.

In second place is another Swedish show, Caliphate, which can be found on Netflix, a show that not enough people are talking about. Veering away from the safety of a ‘Nordic noir’ this focuses on something quite different and very terrifying. Aliette Ophiem and Gizem Erdogam put in an incredible performance as an agent and her source who is desperately trying to prevent a terrorist attack on Stockholm whilst keeping her informant alive.

Elsewhere on Netflix you will catch the raunchy Swedish comedy Love & Anarchy which is certainly a highlight of the year (and partners well with the Norwegian Home for Christmas series).

We discovered Twin, set in Norway, on BBC 4 and enjoyed the story as much as the gorgeous scenery of the Lofoten Islands and back on Walter Presents was season 2 of the excellent Swedish series The Lawyer. Don’t be put off by the title – the kill count is high, in almost every episode in fact! Great fun!

Rising Stars To Watch for in 2021

  1. Miriam Ingrid
  2. Sandra Guldberg Kampp
  3. Leif Edlund
  4. Josefine Lindegaard
  5. Nanna Blondell

We have merely scratched the surface of the wonderful Nordic talent that exists but what we have discovered so far is an exciting handful of superb actors and actresses.

Let us start first with Miriam Ingrid, star of HBO Nordic’s adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s fantastic Beartown novel. Her role in the show was not an easy one as her character undergoes a horrific situation that is harrowing to stomach – the response she has had from the series and the love is a signal in itself as to how superbly well she did with the role. We hope there might will be more to come from this brilliant actress.

Sandra Guldberg Kampp, described as having a ‘young Scarlett Johanssen about her’, is certainly one way to get started in your acting career. Elsewhere we discovered the excellent Leif Edlund whose performance in Koko Di Koko Da is one of our favourites of the year.

We are really excited to see Josefine Lindegaard in her upcoming movie Chakra which is directed by talent Kasper Juhl. Then there is Nanna Blondell soon to be seen in Netflix’s first Swedish feature movie Red Dot (out in February 2021).

*** Part 2 out now – find out our top album, single and music video of 2020! ***

The Nordic region has talent in abundance and we really can’t wait to discover more in 2021!

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