‘Upperdog’ sweeps film awards

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A film about the suddenly intertwined lives of Oslo residents from various parts of the world won five prizes at the “Amanda” awards ceremony in Haugesund over the weekend. The annual event is the equivalent of the Oscars for Norwegian filmmakers.

The film "Upperdog," set in Oslo, won rave reviews, large audiences and now, several awards at the annual Amanda ceremony. PHOTO: Oslo Kino

Director Sara Johnsen had a great night, with her film “Upperdog” winning the prizes for best Norwegian film, best female actress (Agnieszka Grochowska, from Poland), best photography and best editing. Johnsen also walked off with a personal victory, in the form of the award for best director.

The film, which drew large crowds at Norwegian cinemas last fall and winter, offered new insight into today’s multi-cultural Norway, with Grochowska playing both a Polish housemaid and a dishwasher at a local Asian restaurant who manages to reunite two Korean siblings who were split up when adopted by two different Norwegian couples. The older sister grew up in a working class family on Oslo’s east side, while her younger brother grew up in an affluent family on the city’s west side. Their very different lives, and the loss they’d always felt, leads to a dramatic reunion, made more complex by a parallel story of the older sister’s romance with a troubled young man just returned from active duty in Afghanistan.

The award for best actor went to Stellan Skarsgård for his role in “A somewhat gentle man,” about the efforts of a man just released from prison to stay on the right side of the law. The award for best children’s film went to “Knerten,” about a stick figure that comes to life for a little boy, based on the book by Anne-Cath Vestly.

Views and News staff