In 2010’s “The Secrets we Keep”, Noomi Rapace – with a cigarette glued to her hand – plays a persecuted Romani with a traumatizing past, living an All-American life as a 1950’s housewife, when she suddenly sees the man she believes killed her sister during World War II. She kidnaps him, hides him in the family basement and tries to get a confession out of him. All the while, she cannot even convince her husband that two strangers who met at the end of the world end up in the same little town in America. “The Secrets We Keep” plays out like a four-person-play in a claustrophobic basement, but it can’t keep the pace and suspense the story needs. Much like last week’s “Angel of Mine”, the story’s premise allows only two ways to end, so there’s not much of a surprise to its climax. Still, it’s a good watch, so make sure to look out for it on your streaming device. Screencaptures from the Blu-Ray have been added to the photo gallery. Next Sunday will bring us yet another basement story with Tommy Wirkola’s “The Trip”.
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Secrets We Keep – Blu-Ray Screencaptures
On Monday, Noomi was among the many prominent guests to grace the red carpet of the 2021 Fashion Awards in London. Lots of pictures from the event have been added to the photo gallery.
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2021 – The 2021 Fashion Awards
Another great article and interview can be found in today’s The Guardian: Noomi Rapace – the original Lisbeth Salander, AKA The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – is sitting in the hotel bar with her sunglasses on top of her head. They disappear at some point during our conversation, though I don’t see them go. I do notice, however, when her black jacket, which has been draped around her shoulders, falls to the floor while she is flapping her arms pretending to be an eagle. This happens shortly after she has told me how she once wore a strap-on dildo in public. She really is a lot of fun and quite naughty. We were due to meet in a windowless room upstairs but she wanted a window. “They’d put us in a little prison cell,” she huffs, now looking out on to the back streets of London’s Mayfair. “I was like, ‘I can’t be stuck in there!’ It’s all about flows and energies.” The double espresso she asked for when she first got here has yet to arrive, so she orders another from a passing staff member, who brings it in a flash. Rapace, who is 41, does a quick inventory: “Window. Coffee. Ryan. Perfect.” Then her original order arrives. She looks up at her server in astonishment. “Is this ours? I love your lipstick, by the way, it’s really pretty.” She turns to me. “Do you want this? Let’s have it.” The next time I look down, both cups are empty. This is all worlds away from the forceful minimalism she brings to the unsettling new indie thriller Lamb. She plays Maria, who lives with her husband on a farm in the Icelandic countryside. It’s just the two of them, their sensible knitwear, their animals, and the unspoken pain of the past. “It’s like a family drama,” she says. “But with one obstacle that is a bit strange.” That’s putting it mildly. When a sheep on the farm gives birth to a half-human, half-lamb hybrid, the couple name her Ada, rock her like a baby, and adopt her as their own. Meanwhile, Ada’s birth mother stands outside, bleating sinisterly, refusing to budge. The complete interview can be read over at The Guardian.
“Lamb” will be released in the United Kingdom on December 10, and a first string of promotional interviews with Noomi are being released as we speak. Here’s a great interview with NME: Noomi Rapace is never one to conform to Hollywood’s notion of what a leading woman should look like. From her scorching international breakthrough in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the first of a violent, vengeful trilogy, to headlining Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus, and now with her new horror Lamb, the 41-year-old Swedish actor has challenged femininity by opting for robust, often radical roles, over mainstream ideals. “I’ve always seen myself as a human rather than a woman,” she tells NME via video-call from a whitewashed, empty-looking studio in central London. “I’ve always felt alienated when they want to put me in a box, or when people expect me to behave a certain way just because my gender is female.” In Lamb, a surreal Icelandic folk tale which Rapace describes as “a beautiful, strange adventure”, she plays María, a grieving mother who finds new joy in life when Ada, a strange but innocent sheep-human hybrid, is born on the farm that she runs with her husband. For the actor, taking the role was instinctual, and not just because she herself had grown up on a farm in her native Sweden. “I felt like I didn’t have a choice, like my body and my mind and my heart had been waiting for this,” she says. “Maria found me, and I got lost in her.” The complete interview can be read over at NME.
This Sunday, we cover “Angel of Mine”, a 2019 release and a remake of a French film with Noomi Rapace playing a woman who’s certain that a girl from the neighborhood is her own daughter, which she lost days after giving birth in a hospital fire. Is she right or is she losing her mind? In this thriller-by-the-numbers, the answer is as clear as it is predictable. While its watchable, it ticks every box of the “maternal instincts” thriller along the way. You can’t blame its director or the actors, because there isn’t a much better film within this story. It’s an OK watch for a Sunday afternoon, but for a decent film evening I’d recommend any of those films that inspired “Angel of Mine”. Next week: The Secrets We Keep.
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Feature Films – Angel of Mine – Blu-Ray Screencaptures
Another fantastic interview with Valdimar Johannsson and Noomi Rapace on the making of “Lamb”, courtesy Screen Daily. Waiting for a sheep to give birth straight into the hands of lead actress Noomi Rapace was just one of the challenges of making Lamb, Icelandic filmmaker Valdimar Johannsson’s debut feature, which created a stir in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and has become the highest-grossing Icelandic film released in US cinemas (thanks to A24). The story follows an Icelandic couple (Rapace and Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) living on a remote farm who adopt a mysterious newborn, not quite sheep, not quite human, naming it Ada. Known for her booming international career with roles in the Swedish adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (and its two sequels), The Drop, Child 44 and Amazon series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Rapace was born in Sweden but grew up in Iceland. Lamb gave her a chance to return to those roots. Co-scripted by Johannsson with Icelandic screenwriter and novelist Sjon, Lamb is an Iceland-Sweden-Poland co-production, produced by Hronn Kristinsdottir and Sara Nassim at Go To Sheep alongside Piodor Gustafsson and Erik Rydell at Black Spark Prod, and Klaudia Smieja-Rostworowska and Jan Naszewski at Madants. Naszewski’s New Europe Film Sales handles international sales. The full interview can be read here.
I grew up on a farm, [with] life and death present all the time. The circle of life is right there in front of you… and the Icelandic folklore is kind of baked into everything. My grandmother would say, “We can’t ride across this hill because we don’t want to upset the elves.” It was very much a part of life and not seen as something strange.
I’m happy to introduce a new site special that will allow me to keep up with screencaptures from Noomi’s films that haven’t been added in the last couple of years. While there are a couple of films to wrap up, I’ve decided to do it weekly with one update posted every Sunday from now on until Christmas (which will have a great surprise for all visitors) Let’s start with the first in line – 2019’s “Stockholm” about the bank robbery that gave birth to the “Stockholm Syndrome”. The Canadian film, starring Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace and Mark Strong, was shelfed for more than two years after being theatrically released in the US and the UK (titled “The Captor”, for whatever reason). “Stockholm” is not a documentary and a bit too focused on the absurdity of the story, in my opinion, but it’s still worth a watch, especially for Noomi’s performance. High quality screencaptures from the Blu-Ray can be now found in the photo gallery. Next week: Angel of Mine.
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Feature Films – Stockholm – Blu-Ray Screencaptures
It took eight years and a very enticing look book before Lamb co-writer and director Valdimar Jóhannsson got Iceland’s current Oscar entry off the ground. Rapace told us during during the film’s panel at Deadline’s Contenders Film: International that Jóhannsson’s pitch was of few words, but rather a bulk of pictures in a heavy volume of illustrations he created. “I was drawn into the universe of Lamb,” Rapace said. The filmmaker co-penned the screenplay with Icelandic poet Sjón. Jóhannsson even created a clay scale model of the farm he yearned to create for the film. In finding that farmland location in Iceland, Rapace laughs that the filmmaker was “driving around the islands to find the matching farm to his clay farm.” When finally discovered, let’s just say the location was bliss. “You drove into the valleys and everything just died,” Rapace said. “It felt like you were swallowed by the universe, and everything was fading, and we were just going deeper and deeper into the world of Lamb.” Explaining how the Christ-like movie relates to today’s world, Rapace remarked: “It’s quite a universal story. It deals with parenthood, loss, healing.” “Humans versus nature and how far are we willing to go,” she added. “How much have we taken and when will nature hit back at us?” Lamb has grossed $2.7 million at the domestic box office for A24 and holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 84% certified fresh. Jóhannsson won the Un Certain Regard Prize of Originality award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Check back Monday for the panel video.
According to Deadline, Focus Features is planning a moderate release of You Won’t Be Alone on Friday, January 28, 2022 domestically in theaters. Set in an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, the film follows a young girl who is kidnapped and then transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit. Curious about life as a human, the young witch accidentally kills a peasant in the nearby village and then takes her victim’s shape to live life in her skin. Her curiosity ignited, she continues to wield this horrific power in order to understand what it means to be human. The witch will be played by different actors and the film will include an old Macedonian dialect. The film is directed and written by Goran Stolevski. It stars Noomi Rapace, BAFTA-winner Anamaria Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), Alice Englert (Ratched), Carloto Cotta (Tabu), Félix Maritaud (Sauvage) and Sara Klimoska (Milcho Manchevski’s Willow). Producers are Kristina Ceyton (The Babadook and The Nightingale) and Sam Jennings (Cargo). Focus pre-bought world rights to the under-the-radar supernatural-horror early last year just after it had wrapped filming in Serbia. Focus will handle domestic and Universal Pictures International will handle international territories. The movie marks the feature debut of Australian-Macedonian writer-director Goran Stolevski, whose short film Would You Look At Her won Best International Short Film at 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
The Hollywood Reporter has published an interview with Noomi Rapace and Valdimar Jóhannsson – too late for its theatrical release in October, but maybe just in time for the upcoming awards season. In A24’s Lamb, Noomi Rapace’s most memorable co-star is a half-human, half-sheep newborn named Ada. As Maria, who runs a farm with her husband (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) in remote Iceland, Rapace weathered a logistically complicated shoot that included actual nightmares. The resulting film, helmed by first-time director Valdimar Jóhannsson, who co-wrote it with frequent Björk collaborator Sjón, is an eerie, intermittently funny slice of folk horror. Rapace and Jóhannsson spoke to THR about how they made the movie and why they resist the temptation to classify it as a genre film.
Maria is a heavy character. She’s been through a lot of anguish, and she’s desperate to be a parent.
Noomi Rapace: It’s brutal to open up yourself for the emotions of losing a child. When Valdimar and his producer came to London and gave me this divine, disturbing package of the script and his lookbook, and I started to explore this world, I knew that it was a brutal, beautiful world. I knew I would need to get lost in it somehow, and I accepted that. But there were also moments when we were shooting it where I wasn’t sure where Noomi ends and Maria starts. It was quite intense. I couldn’t really sleep. In the summer in Iceland, it doesn’t really get dark. I was losing my mind.
The complete article can be read over at the The Hollywood Reporter.