Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round added to its strong cocktail of prizes over the past several months, scooping the Best International Feature Film Oscar tonight. The front-runner coming in, the director’s latest marks his first win at the Academy Awards after his 2012 The Hunt was nominated in the same category.
Originally conceived several years ago, Another Round became an intensely personal effort: It was four days into shooting when Vinterberg’s teenage daughter Ida died in a car accident. The filmmaker persevered to tell a story about embracing life and tearfully thanked his daughter in his acceptance from Union Station this evening.
Vinterberg began lightly, musing on the Academy recognition, “This is beyond anything I could ever imagine, except this is something I’ve always imagined. Since I was five, I’ve been preparing speeches in train stations, at school, in the toilet and here I am — its amazing.”
He later continued, “We wanted to make a film that celebrates life, and four days into shooting the impossible happened. An accident on a highway took my daughter away… We miss her, I love her,” he said, taking a beat to steady himself. He then recounted, “Two months before we shot this movie and two months before she died, she was in Africa and she sent me a letter. She had just read the script and she was glowing with excitement, she loved this and she felt seen by this. And she was supposed to be in this. If anyone dares to believe that she’s here with us somehow, you’ll be able to see her clapping and cheering with us. We ended up making this movie for her as her monument. So Ida, this is a miracle that just happened and you’re a part of this miracle. Maybe you’ve been pulling some strings somewhere, I don’t know, but this one is for you.” (See the full video above.)
Earlier in his speech, Vinterberg had called Another Round “a film about letting go of control in life as I lost control in my own life.” He thanked star Mads Mikkelsen, saying, “You gave us your finest, not just for the film, but for my daughter as well, and I’ll never forget that.” And, he gave a shout-out to the crew who “threw everything they had in their hands to rescue me, to rescue this film.”
Another Round’s premise sees four weary middle-aged high school teachers set out to test a theory that a constant level of modest inebriation opens our minds to the world. The consequences are at once spirited, comic, tragic and uplifting.
Vinterberg said investors, distributors and other collaborators had been brave to invest in a movie “that is about four depraved white drunk men basically, who teaches children to drink.”
Another Round previously took myriad prizes from awards bodies and critics groups worldwide, including a BAFTA and four European Film Awards — and was the top box office draw in Denmark in 2020. The film is now the fourth from Denmark to win in this category and the first since Susanne Bier’s 2010 In A Better World.
Vinterberg was also nominated this evening in the Oscars’ Best Director category, joining a rare circle of international directors who nabbed a nomination for a foreign-language film — a group including Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut and more, including last year’s winner, Bong Joon Ho.
The other International Feature nominees this evening were Collective (Romania), Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia), Better Days (Hong Kong) and The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia).
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