Magnificent seven for Von Trier

Bodil best film and actor selections the same as the Roberts – what’s the difference again?

Noma unseated from its number one position (photo: Antissimo)
March 6th, 2012 9:57 am| by admin
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The organisers of Denmark’s answer to the Oscars (or is it the Golden Globes?) might reconsider renaming their awards after Lars von Trier, following yet another best film award for one of his movies – his seventh in all.

His sci-fi drama ‘Melancholia’ on Saturday night scooped the 2011 Bodil award for best film, adding to the Robert it won in early February. Nikolaj Lie Kaas likewise doubled up by winning the best actor award for his portrayal of Danish comic actor Dirch Passer in the film ‘Dirch’, while Lene Maria Christensen won best actress for her role in ‘En Familie’, her second Bodil in three years following her 2009 triumph in ‘Frygtelig Lykkelig’.

However, ‘Superclasico’, despite being short-listed for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars – it made the final nine but not the final five – missed out on the major awards, winning just one: the best supporting actress gong for Paprika Steen. Best supporting male, meanwhile, went to Lars Ranthe, also for ‘Dirch’.

‘Winter’s Bone' meanwhile won the Best American Film award – another peculiar decision following last year’s choice of ‘A Single Man’, although there was no Danish connection like the Roberts’ selection of ‘Drive’. Since 1980, the Bodils have only twice mirrored the Oscars: ‘American Beauty’ in 2001 and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’ in 2002.

The Bodils, which began in 1948, are voted for by the country’s film critics, while the Roberts, just 28 years old last month, are selected by the industry – namely the members of the Danish Film Academy. Many have questioned the wisdom of a small country like Denmark having two awards shows, particularly when the recipients are so often the same. A quick look at the three major categories (best film, actor and actress – the Bodils has no best director award) reveals that in the last six years, 12 of the 18 awards have been duplicates. 

One film industry professional who believes the two award ceremonies should merge is Bo Ehrhardt, the co-founder of Nimbus Film, the producer of 'Festen' and 'Flammen og Citronen'.

“It is a problem that a lot of energy is being used to produce two award celebrations, while both organisations are struggling to make ends meet," he told public broadcaster DR last year. "We should be only doing one big event a year – to create a greater identity and a stronger brand around Danish film.”

However, according to Jacob Wendt Jensen, the president of the film employees' union, a proposal was recently put to his members to merge the two, and it was rejected.

“Nobody talks about the Oscars and Golden Globe merging together,” Mette Bubandt Aagaard of the Danish Film Academy told DR.

As things stand, the likes of Von Trier can continue to look forward to more double triumphs. In addition to ‘Melancholia’, he has picked up Bodils for  ‘AntiChrist’ (2009), ‘Dogville’ (2003), ‘Breaking the Waves’ (1997), ‘The Kingdom’ (1995), ‘Europa’ (1992), and ‘The Element of Crime’ (1985).

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