What a year for Nordic film! We have been truly spoiled with some fantastic releases and what has been even more exciting is that the access to see these films is getting better and better.
The Nordic Watchlist team got together to discuss their favourites of the year and try to put them in order – please note that these are based on films that are now accessible for the public to watch (in the UK).
So without further ado here is our Best of 2022 Nordic Films.
10. Compartment No 6 | Viaplay UK & DOD
Juho Kuosmanen’s adaptation of Rosa Likom’s novel is perfectly done and features a beautiful performance, and chemistry, from its two leads Seida Haarla and Yurivo Borisov.
Their frosty relationship that soon begins to warm up, unlike the landscape outside of their train carriage, is such a joy to watch unfold that you don’t want the film to end as you wonder where these characters lives could go next.
9. Girl Picture | DOD
Finnish Director Alli Haapasalo has had a great year which has seen her feature, Girl Picture, gain international success leading to it being Finland’s entry for the Academy Awards.
The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won the Audience Award in the World Dramatic Competition.
The film centres around three strong female Finnish teenagers and their lives over the course of three consecutive Fridays. Each actress puts in a fantastic performance and it’s a feel-good film that tackles the modern era of girlhood.
8. I am Zlatan | Viaplay UK
Admittedly we weren’t really ready to enjoy this film as much as we did – not being fans of football at all and with a little bit of knowledge on Zlatam Imbrovic this wouldn’t have been our usual ‘go to’ but we were proved very wrong.
This is mainly due to fantastic performances from the two young cast members, one of who plays the young Zlatan and the other who plays him as a teenager. The humour and determination lit up the screen and it was an absolute joy to watch.
The narrative of your usual sports feature is mixed up to make it a little less original and director Jens Sjögren pulls off a fantastic feel-good movie!
7. Triangle of Sadness | Cinemas
We were so excited to finally see Ruben Ostlund’s new feature film and it certainly did not disappoint – like his previous films we truly believe that this piece will get better and better with more watches.
Watching the press screening up in London, we will never forget the big scene involving many people being sick and trying so hard to hold it together – it was both hilarious and gross and so much fun to watch.
6. Pleasure | MUBI
Ninja Thyberg’s debut was a powerful voyage into the LA porn industry which presented an outstanding performance from her lead Sofia Kappel. The film tackled a lot of issues within the industry which the director had spent some time observing, finally bringing to life.
5. Wild Men | Digital on Demand
This movie has probably slipped under many people’s radars and we really want to have the opportunity to get it back on there because this truly is a fantastic hidden gem from 2022.
Thomas Daneskov’s Wild Men is both darkly funny and brutally violent at times – all immersed within the stunning Norwegian scenery which the director had stated: “Well it might have looked all lovely and green but it was minus twenty at the time – we were freezing!”
4. The Innocents | Viaplay UK
Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents took us on a dark journey through children’s minds and gave us some scenes that won’t leave us. We still find it incredible that Joachim Trier’s fellow screenplay writer from The Worst Person of the World went down this dark rabbit hole but then again let us not forget the wonderful Thelma which the pair worked on.
3. Speak No Evil | Shudder
When you recommend a film and the person watches it and replies with the words: “Thank you but f*ck you” you certainly know that the film has made an impact. To hear more on that check out our friend Stu’s review of the film on Youtube here!
There is no doubt that Christian Tafdrup’s Speak No Evil left a trail of broken people after its ending – some are still recovering – and one thing is for sure, Nordic horror is firmly back on people’s radars now.
Here is a fun fact for you – the director was in season three of Borgen playing Soren Malling’s boss!
2. Flee | Disney+
The fact this film quietly slipped onto Disney+ without much mention is criminal, as it’s a film that picked up so much accolade, including getting a number of Academy Award nominations, and is focused on very relevant issues in relation to the refugee crisis.
1. The Worst Person in the World | MUBI
We keep falling in love with this film and it was wonderful for it to finally get its cinematic and streamer release in 2022 on the wonderful MUBI platform. Many had probably heard so much about this film already in 2021 so for it to finally be released this year was perfect.
It was such a shame the film lost out on winning any Academy Awards but just to be recognised in the competition was a huge accolade for all of those involved in the film.
Read our interview with Herbert Nordrum, one of the stars of the film.
That rounds up our Nordic films of 2022 – we can’t wait for what 2023 will bring!
Feature by Alex Minnis