Denmark wins two Oscars: ‘Druk’ for ‘Best International Feature’ and ‘Best Editing’

Thomas Vinterberg picks up gong in person at ceremony in LA, where he dedicated the award to his daughter Ida, who passed away shortly after filming commenced

Denmark last night set Oscar history with its first ever two-statuette haul.

As expected, ‘Druk’ (‘Another Round’) grabbed the award for ‘Best International Feature’, while Mikkel EG Nielsen won the ‘Best Editing’ prize for his work on ‘Sound of Metal’. 

Danish filmmaker Elvira Lind, who is the wife of Hollywood star Oscar Isaac, had been in strong contention to triumph for ‘The Letter Room’ for ‘Best Live Action Short’, but instead the film went to ‘Two Distant Strangers’, a timely entry about police brutality towards American black people.

Nevertheless, for a country as small as Denmark, it is an unprecedented achievement as its previous 11 Oscar wins all came in different years.

Dedication to dead daughter
‘Druk’ director Thomas Vinterberg attended the awards ceremony in Los Angeles in a splendid white suit.

As he picked up the award, he quipped: “This is bigger than anything I could have imagined, apart from the fact that I have always imagined this.”

But then his speech took on a more poignant tone with his tribute to his daughter Ida, who died in an accident shortly after work on the film began.

“This is a film about letting go of control in life as I lost control in my own,” he said.

“We miss her and we love her. We ended up making this movie for her as a monument. If she had been here today, she would be clapping and cheering. Ida, it’s a miracle that this just happened. This one’s for you,” he said.

‘Druk’ joins Hævnen (2011), Pelle the Conqueror (1989) and Babette’s Feast (1988) as previous winners of the award.

The rest of the ‘Druk’ entourage watched on from a party organised by producer Zentropa, which has now won two Oscars from five nominations in the category, at Filmbyen in Hvidovre.

Debt to the deaf
Meanwhile, Nielsen wrote Oscar history by becoming the first Dane to pick up the Academy Award for Best Editing for his work on ‘Sound of Metal’. 

“Thanks for letting me go on this life-changing journey. It’s been like following a rainbow for me,” he said.

Nielsen thanked his family and the deaf community for helping to realise an ambitious project that received six nominations in full and also won for ‘Best Sound’.

More wins that Sweden
The triumph of ‘Druk’ has elevated Denmark to fourth place on the all-time list of winners in the International Feature category, which until recently was known as Best Foreign Language Film. 

Only Italy (11), France (9) and Spain (4, but with more nominations) stand above it. Sweden (3, more noms) now slips to fifth place.

With four wins in the category, it has tied Italy as the country with the most wins since 1987.

And Denmark now has an impressive one from three return. In total (discounting Viggo Mortensen’s nominations and Lars von Trier’s dubious nod for ‘Best Song’ alongside Björk in 2000), it has been nominated for Oscars 39 times and won 13 Oscars.

Banishes the disappointment of 2014
It’s a sweet moment for ‘Druk’ director Thomas Vinterburg, who was shortlisted for his work on the film but never fancied to win, as the last time Denmark had three strong contenders, it was another of his works, ‘Jagten’, which was leading the charge.

In 2014, it was joined by harrowing documentary ‘The Act of Killing’ and short film ‘Helium’, but in the end Denmark only went home with one – a gong picked up by Kim Magnusson and Anders Walter for the latter.

But last night, just hours ago in tinseltown, the Dane added his name to the neverending story of ‘Once upon a time in Hollywood’.