Palace Nova Cinemas
Scandinavian Film Festival
Season commenced. Limited screenings
Check Palace Nova for dates and times.
Review by Geoff Jenke
The Scandinavian Film Festival runs from July 19 – August 10. Now a much-anticipated fixture of the festival calendar, the Scandinavian Film Festival has returned to showcase the most exciting dramas, comedies and crime thrillers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark while exploring culture, life and history in the Nordic Region.
Opening night presented the new film from acclaimed director Charlotte Sieling (Borgen, The Killing, The Bridge), Margrete – Queen of the North. It brings the story of one of the most powerful women in Nordic history to the big screen.
In the year 1402, Denmark’s Queen Margrete (Trine Dyrholm) has achieved what no man has managed before. She has gathered Denmark, Norway and Sweden into a peace-oriented union, which she single-handedly rules through her young, adopted son, Erik (Morten Hee Andersen).
However, the union is beset by enemies and therefore Margrete is planning a marriage between Erik and an English princess. An alliance with England should secure the union’s status as an emerging European power, but a breathtaking conspiracy is under way that could tear Margrete and all that she believes in apart. Her son, believed to be dead, reappears.
Directed and co-written by Sieling and inspired by actual events surrounding the reign of Queen Margrete I, Margrete – Queen of the North is a lavish historical drama that blends grand visuals with the psychological unease of a chamber piece, exploring the legacy of a visionary ruler who brokered the historic Kalmar Union.
Based on a true story, the plot could only come from medieval history. You couldn’t make stories like this up. It does take a while to set the story up, but the second half of the film is very dramatic with the court case of the supposed son, Olef (Jakob Oftebro). With most of the filming done within castle walls, much care was taken to make it authentic to 1400. The costumes were superb giving the film added credibility.
The film belongs to Trine Dyrholm. She gives a strong, compelling performance as Margrete. As Queen and ruler, she only wants peace and what is best for her people. All records to what the final outcome to this actual event was have been destroyed. It is only handed down tales that have survived and the final judgement is quite possibly the only way it could have ended. However, I still found the final scenes very disturbing.
A compelling story. One not to be missed.
WINNER – Best Supporting Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design at the Danish Film Awards 2022
WINNER – Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design at the Bodil Awards 2022