Neither film director Morten Tyldum from Bergen nor filmmaker Torill Kove from Hamar won Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards in Hollywood, but both felt that just being nominated was a major victory in itself. Tyldum’s film “The Imitation Game” also won in one of the eight categories in which it snared nominations.
“I have won in a way already,” Tyldum told newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend. “Just taking such a small film as long as we have come with it is great for me regardless.”
New projects lined up
Tyldum was referring to the relatively small budget of less than USD 15 million for his film about Alan Turing, the brilliant young British man who cracked the Germans’ so-called “Enigma” code during World War II and was widely credited for shortening the war by nearly two years. The film was a major international hit and has generated around USD 180 million in ticket revenues.
That hasn’t gone unnoticed in Hollywood, where Tyldum is now considered one of “the hottest names in Hollywood,” according to fellow Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola and editors at The Hollywood Reporter. Tyldum is already working on two new film projects, one of which has a budget of more than USD 100 million: A science-fiction action film for Sony called Passengers, about a couple on a spaceship. The other film is a political thriller that Tyldum doesn’t want to talk about much.
Tyldum, age 48, was the first Norwegian to ever be nominated for an Oscar as best director but the Oscar for best director went instead to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman, which only just recently opened at cinemas in Norway. The Imitation Game did receive one Oscar, for Best Adapted Screenplay by Graham Moore.
While Tyldum made his first stroll up the red carpet at the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood Sunday evening, another Norwegian, Torill Kove, was making her third. Kove was nominated in the category of best animated short film for Me and My Moulton. It told the story of three sisters growing up in Norway, at least one of whom desperately wished their parents were more conventional – until a more conventional neighbour family is torn by divorce and the girls realize how loved they are.
It lost out to another short animated film, Feast, but Kove already has won an Oscar, for her animated short film The Danish Poet in 2007, and also felt it was a victory to simply win another nomination. She and her Norwegian producer Lise Fearnley are also woking on other projects, with Aftenposten reporting that the two were well-received while making the rounds of animation studios and technology firms in California during the past week.
Tyldum’s The Imitation Game was also nominated for five Golden Globe awards and nine British BAFTA prizes and while he didn’t win any as director, the international recognition cements Norwegians’ presence in the film industry. “This is very motivating for other Norwegian directors, and contributes towards increasing recognition for Norwegian film,” Sindre Guldvog, director of the Norwegian Film Institute, told newspaper Dagsavisen.
Norwegian success in Hollywood
Tyldum first became known in Norway for his film Buddy in 2003. He then worked mostly with television, commercials and short films until gaining international recognition for his direction of the crime action film Headhunters, based on the book by Jo Nesbø. Several other Norwegians are also doing well in Hollywood, with Wirkola working on three projects at present while Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who directed Kon-Tiki, started filming the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film this week in Australia. Harald Zwart from Fredrikstad is known for directing the film that generated the most money for a Norwegian, Karate Kid in 2010. Anne Sewitsky, meanwhile, has won prizes at major film festivals and has been working on a new film about Norwegian ice skater Sonja Henie.
Tyldum’s film was also nominated for Best Picture, but that was won by Birdman. The Best Actress award went to Julianne More for her role in Still Alice, about a woman who shows signs of dementia at an early age. The Best Actor award when to Eddie Redmayne for his role in The Theory of Everything, beating out Benedict Cumberbatch for his starring role in The Imitation Game. Patricia Arquette won as Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Boyhood, beating out Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game.