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Nordic Flavours of the month: JULY

This month at the Nordic Watchlist we enjoyed a staycation, and the searing heatwave in the UK eventually turned to torrential rain – allowing us to bury ourselves in the sofa and enjoy some more Nordic treats!

Here’s what we have been enjoying this month:

TV SHOW: YOUNG ROYALS

Netflix has delivered another gem with their new Swedish series, Young Royals, which we binged this month.

The show is clearly targeted at a YA audience, but as the series progresses, the clever writing, compelling story, and captivating cast make it enjoyable for any age. It also tackles several pertinent themes for our times, which it is great to see a show like this cover.

The series follows Prince Wilhelm, a young, rebellious member of the Swedish royal family, who finds himself in trouble that spreads on social media. Realising his behaviour is not aligning with that of what should be portrayed by a high-profile royal, he is sent off to a prestigious boarding school to lay low and get his studies and discipline back in focus. It is all going well until, of course, he falls in love.

We don’t want to say much more as we don’t want to spoil it for you!

Watch Young Royals now on Netflix

The cast is responsible for making this work so well. Their authenticity and chemistry make this such a convincing feature and helps you really connect with the characters, story, and delicate intimate moments. The majority of the actors are new talent on the scene, including Nikita Uggla who plays Felice, and who we spoke to earlier in the month.

Add to all of this a fantastic soundtrack, and we have our favourite highlight from July! We are eagerly awaiting news of season two and will update you when we hear anything.


FILM:

Where do we start with movie recommendations this month?! First, we strongly recommend you take advantage of the 7 Day Free Day trial with MUBI (we have been so convinced we are staying on!). We have already gone through a host of wonderful movies on MUBI and with the news we mentioned earlier in the month about their acquisitions from Cannes, they are quickly becoming a home for quality Nordic movies.

NORDIC FILMS ON MUBI

This month we caught the following films on the Mubi platform:

  • The award-winning Queen of Hearts
  • The Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Maki
  • The excellent documentary Meanwhile on Earth
  • The Pusher trilogy
  • Cryptic Swedish movie X&Y
  • and finally, Ruben Ostlund’s earlier work with Introvert.

Phew! We are tired just mentioning all of those – be quick and go and gorge yourselves on these Mubi delights!

ROLAND MOELLER

Along with chomping up a load of Nordic content on MUBI, we also focused our attention on excellent Danish actor Roland Moeller and decided to dive into a number of his movies as we waited for the release of Blood Red Sky and The Northwater (on BBC very soon).

From Papillon on Amazon, to A Bluebird in My Heart on Shudder (not so much of a horror movie but plenty of violence), and finally Blood Red Sky on Netflix, a German Vampire movie.

He is a fantastic actor and just great fun to follow – we have more movies in the vault ready to watch and strongly recommend Land of Mine if you haven’t seen that yet. A powerful piece of cinema and a far cry from his other roles and shows what an incredible talent he is, and much more versatile than some might think.

DANIEL

Finally, over on NOW TV you can catch Denmark’s Niels Arden Oplev’s Daniel – which is officially our movie of the month! It is not often one is brought to tears, but this powerful film based on the true story of the kidnapping of a Danish journalist in Syria is an emotional slug feast featuring an absolute star turn from the lead Esban Smed.

You’ll spot many other Danish faces, from shows such as DNA, Borgen, and movies such as Riders of Justice. Further to that is the addition of our own British actor Toby Kebbell, who plays American journalist James Foley.


BOOK: INLANDS

Stumbling upon Inlands has a bit of a story involving a girl hugging a bear on Instagram and my curiosity. To keep the story relatively short – upon seeing a picture of an actress hugging a taxidermy bear I had to ask the actress what on earth was going on and what it was from. Filming the movie Inland was the response – and from there I read about the film and then discovered the book which it is adapted from.

Unsure on whether we would get to see the film I ordered the book as I was fascinated by the whole premise and was slightly in love with the book cover too. The book did not disappoint, yet it is a difficult one to explain. A train of thought and experiences from a city girl who moves to the north of Sweden with her boyfriend only to break up with him. Instead of heading home, she decides to stay and so Elin Willows takes us on this dreamy journey of our character as she experiences the locals and the change of seasons.

Look out next month for our interview with both the actress and director behind the film (still waiting to see if there is a release in the UK), but before then go visit the website for Nordisk Books where you can purchase this particular book and other fantastic fiction finds from the Nordic region.

Feature by Alex Minnis

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