According to Deadline, Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Lamb has been selected as Iceland’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2022 Academy Awards. Lamb, which debuted in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section and won its Prize of Originality is Jóhannsson’s first feature and is released domestically by A24. This past weekend, it hit the Top 10 for the second frame running at the North American box office, surging past $2M. Jóhannsson co-wrote the screenplay with celebrated Icelandic poet Sjón. Noomi Rapace, who is also an executive producer, stars in the dark and malevolent folktale about a childless couple in rural Iceland who make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn and soon face the consequences of defying the will of nature. Prior to its U.S. debut, Lamb took prizes at the Sitges Catalonian International Film Festival. Panda, the sheepdog in the movie, also shared the Palm Dog Awards’ Jury Prize in Cannes. In its home market, the movie opened September 24 via Sena and has held in the Top 5 amid Hollywood newcomers. At open in the U.S., the R-rated picture grossed $1.1M, becoming the highest grossing Icelandic film of all time in the market. It is the first title distributed by A24 to be selected as a country’s official entry for the Best International Feature Oscar race and is carrying an 84% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Iceland has previously scored one Oscar nomination in this category, for 1991’s Children Of Nature by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. Baltasar Kormakur’s 2012 drama The Deep made the shortlist.
Congratulations to Noomi Rapace and Vladimir Johannsson for scoring two top prizes at the Sitges Film Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Lamb” took the top prize for best feature-length film. The debut feature from Icelandic director Johannsson premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes this year. It combines Nordic folk legend with WTF horror elements in the story of Icelandic sheep farmers who seize on a startling discovery during lambing season. A24 has North American rights for the film. Rapace also took best actress at Sitges, sharing the prize ex-aequo with Susanne Jensen for her starring performance in Peter Brunner’s Austrian horror film “Luzifer”. Australian director Justin Kurzel took Sitges best direction honor for “Nitram”, a thriller looking at the events leading up the 1996 Port Arthur massacre on Tasmania. Best actor honors went ex-aequo to “Nitram” star Caleb Landry Jones and “Luzifer”‘s Franz Rogowski. More information on all the winners can be found over at The Hollywood Reporter.
Here comes a nice interview with Entertainment Weekly for this week’s theatrical release of “Lamb” in the United States: Noomi Rapace had no time to be sheepish on the set of Lamb. On her first day of filming A24’s Icelandic horror-drama, she found herself in a barn helping deliver a baby lamb live on camera. “I didn’t have any time to practice,” the Swedish actress recalls with a laugh. “I had this rush of adrenaline right before we started. I was waiting in my trailer, and then all of a sudden I heard a knock, and they’re like, ‘Come on, it’s coming!’ I ran down to the barn, but as soon as I sat down in front of [the mother sheep] and saw this little head starting to come out, I got really calm. It was so magical, pulling out that little creature and seeing it stand up for the first time and take its first breaths. Life is so magical and brutal at the same time.”
I loved María from the very first. She’s such an amazing combination of strength, fragility, and violence. She has this primal rage in her, and the way she deals with her grief and heartbreak and her desperation to be a mother again is such a beautiful contradiction. It wasn’t hard to find her, strangely enough. I grew up on a farm, so I’ve lived farm life. But I hadn’t delivered baby lambs, so that was new.
The complete interview can be read over at Entertainment Weekly.
On Thursday, Noomi Rapace and Ethan Hawke have attended the Tribeca Film Festival alongside director Robert Budreau to celebrate the world-premiere of “Stockholm.” So far, only The Hollywood Reporter has posted a review, so let’s wait for more to drop. In the meantime, lots of pictures from the premiere have been added to the photo gallery with many thanks to Joan for sending them in. Edit: More reviews have been added, and it’s great to see good reviews for the film and especially praise for Noomi’s performance!
The Hollywood Reporter, John De Fore (April 19, 2018)
As the hostage who will come to most closely identify with the outlaws, Rapace has the film’s biggest job. She’s not so insensitive as to make it look easy. Bianca is married with two young children, and, judging solely from Rapace’s mien, harbors no fantasies about running away with a rogue. But she notices every thing Lars does to make this ordeal easier for her, sees how he is subtly disrespected by the man he’s trying to rescue, and, late in the plot, realizes Lars is the same criminal who once saved the life of an old man while robbing his house. And just as important, Bianca is allowed a few bits of contact with her husband (one of which is a nervously comic highlight), and that decent, frightened man lets her down in banal but telling ways.
Variety, Owen Gleiberman (April 21, 2018)
Enough filmmakers have nailed the early ’70s that even if you didn’t live through it, you can tell when a movie misses the era. In “Stockholm,” the hair and clothes are accurate in a costume-shop way, but the atmosphere is too slick and bright and punchy. The one performer with the right desultory presence is Noomi Rapace, under big glasses and long straight sandy blonde hair held back in a bun. Her Bianca just wants to stay alive and get home to her two children. The question is, what’s her best strategy?
Slash Film, Hoai-Tran Bui (April 21, 2018)
The movie goes out of its way to convince us that Lars is a sympathetic character, flying into a panic over his hostages’ well-being as often as he flies into a rage. In another person’s hands, Lars would have probably veered toward comic relief or even mentally disabled, but this incompetent, outrageous robber is given pathos by Hawke’s no-holds-barred performance. He’s supported by a revelatory turn by Rapace, who lends a quiet strength to Bianca, and Mark Strong’s stoic straight man.
“Stockholm” will have its world-premiere today at the Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by Robert Burdreau, the film is based on a 1973 bank heist and hostage crisis that was documented a year later in a New Yorker article titled “The Bank Drama” by Daniel Lang. Lars Nystrom (Hawke) dons a disguise to raid a central Stockholm bank. He then takes hostages, one of them being Bianca (Noomi Rapace), a wife and mother of two, in order to spring his pal Gunnar (Mark Strong) from prison. Negotiations with detectives come to a halt when the police refuse to let Lars leave in a getaway car with the hostages. As hours turn into days, Lars alternates between threatening the hostages and making them feel comfortable and secure. The hostages develop an uneasy relationship with their captor, which is particularly complex for Bianca, who develops a strong bond with Lars as she witnesses his caring nature. The Bianca-Lars relationship gives rise to the psychological phenomenon known as “Stockholm Syndrome” — hence the title of the film. Make sure to check back for reviews tomorrow.
Last week, Noomi Rapace (aka The Girl with the Funny Green Hat :-) was a guest on the Swedish talkshow Skavlan for a chat about her career and the upcoming thriller “Stockholm” (which will have its world-premiere at this month’s Tribeca Film Festival). Unfortunately there’s no version of the appearnce to embed to the video archive, so you have to check out the SVT website to watch the whole show. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery.
The Tribeca Film Festival is now going into its 17th year, and while it still doesn’t command the respect of a Sundance or Cannes or Toronto, it’s certainly been able to find its identity in recent years. This April, the Noomi Rapace-starring “Stockholm” will have its world-premiere at the festival. A definite date has not been set – the festival runs from April 18-29. A new production still featuring Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace has been added to the photo gallery. Many thanks to Marinka for the heads-up.
Stockholm, directed and written by Robert Budreau. Produced by Nicholas Tabarrok, Robert Budreau, Jonathan Bronfman. (Canada, Sweden, USA) – World Premiere. In 1973, an unhinged American outlaw walked into a bank in Sweden demanding millions in cash in exchange for his hostages. The events that followed would capture the attention of the world and ultimately give a name to a new psychological phenomenon: Stockholm syndrome. With Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong, Christopher Heyerdahl, Bea Santos, Thorbjorn Harr.
Noomi was a surprise guest – and a vision in white – at yesterday’s 43rd Annual César Film Awards in Paris. Together with Lucien Jean-Baptist, she took the stage to present the César for Best Original Screenplay to Robin Campillo. Pictures from the arrivals and the show have been added to the photo gallery, a segment of her presentation has been added to the video archive. Enjoy.
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2018 – 43rd Annual César Film Awards – Arrivals
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2018 – 43rd Annual César Film Awards – Show
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2018 – 43rd Annual César Film Awards – Screencaptures
“Bright” has been released worldwide on December 22 on Netflix, and yes, it was just as disappointing as the critics have written. I didn’t find the acting any bad, it’s what you expect to get from a cop/orcs/elves movie (and you have Joel Edgerton, Edgar Ramirez and Noomi Rapace). It was rather a surprisingly, shockingly thin story line. “Bright” feels like a tv pilot with overtime for something that Will Smith should have done 20 years ago. Both Smith and Edgerton are given so little to work with, Noomi was given even less with her dialogue consisting of only a bit of Elvish :-) Her character could have been credited among the stunt people just as well. And yet, I feel like “Bright” could deserve a second watch, there has to be more to Netflix’ biggest foray into motion pictures. There has to be. Screencaptures from the film have been added to the photo gallery, alongside additional pictures from the promotional tours in London, Mumbai and Tokyo – including a fantastic new photoshoot from the time during her Tokyo visit. Many thanks to Marika for all the heads-up. Enjoy the new additions.
“Bright” is receiving the royal treatment from Netflix right now. After stints in Los Angeles, London and Mumbai, the “Bright” crew has now attended the film’s premiere in Tokyo, Japan. Pictures from the event have been added to the photo gallery. Edit: Pictures from the press conference have been added as well.