A royal affair: Danes and The Oscars.

At last! The long awaited Oscar night is upon us.

Danes around the world will be crossing fingers tonight because the Danish film En Royal Affære/A Royal Affair is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

The critically acclaimed film, directed by Nikolaj Arcel and starring Danish star Mads Mikkelsen, is a historical drama telling the tale of the romance between the Queen and the royal physician. It’s already won two awards at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival (for Best Script and Best Actor) and was nominated for a Golden Globe.


Photo credit (c) Zentropa Entertainments/ DR TV

But this isn’t the first time Danish productions have been represented at the prestigious Oscar awards ceremony.

The first time Denmark submitted a film for an Oscar consideration was in 1956; Qivitoq directed by Eric Balling.


Amazingly, the film was short-listed but didn’t win.

Paw by Astrid Hening-Jensen was the second Danish film to be nominated for the the Oscars in 1959. The Danes went home empty handed that night, and again in 1961 when Bent Christensen’s Harry og Kammertjeneren lost to neighbour-rival Sweden.

Then there was an Oscar drought for 26 years. That’s right. For almost 3 decades, Danish productions failed to make it on the Oscar shortlist. But that all changed in 1988 when Babette’s Gæstebud was was not only nominated but also became the very first Danish film to win an Oscar.

Babettes Gæstebud (Babette's Feast in English) brought home the very first Oscar

Babettes Gæstebud brought Denmark the very first Oscar. Photo credit: DVD cover

And the good luck didn’t stop there.

The very following year, Pelle Erobreren directed by Bille August, picked up another Oscar.

Between 1990 and 2010, Denmark saw itself nominated a staggering 11 times, in categories such as Best Short Film and Best Foreign Language Picture. Some didn’t make it beyond the preliminaries in December to the very final short-list. However the critically acclaimed Hævnen directed by Susanne Bier changed that. The Danish film was awarded an Oscar in 2010. Another victory for the small Viking country.


Susanne Bier accepts the award for Best Foreign Picture in 2010. Photo credit: Reuters

Now, The Royal Affair is the first Danish production to be up for the prestigious award since Hævnen. The film is up against:

  • Amour
  • No
  • War witch
  • Kon-Tiki

Will this be the year where Denmark picks up the most sought after statue in Hollywood?  Or will someone else take the glory?

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Here’s to an exciting Oscar night!

This entry was published on February 25, 2013 at 1:04 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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