Denmark’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, Queen Of Hearts (Dronningen) by May el-Toukhy, has been awarded the 2019 Nordic Council Film Prize, against stiff competition from Aurora, A White White Day, Blindspot and Reconstructing Utøya.
Queen Of Hearts follows Anne (Trine Dyrholm), a brilliant lawyer who lives an idyllic life with her husband and twin daughters. But when her estranged teenage stepson moves in with them, Anne’s escalating desire leads her down a dangerous rabbit hole which unleashes a series of events that destroy her world.
The jury said in their deliberation: “Is it about a midlife crisis? About class? Or about desire and passion? Is she a sexual abuser? Or a psychopath? We’re used to movies serving a clear point, we almost always know whether a movie character is good or evil, but with Queen Of Hearts director May el-Toukhy and co-writer Maren Louise Käehne leave it to us, the audience.”
“Strangely it feels entirely right to have that responsibility. It’s not a pleasure to get to know Anne – but it is an arousing pleasure to experience a finely masked film that gives us the right tools to see our own relationship as a complex human being. And this film believes we are capable of it.”
“It’s impossible not to praise Trine Dyrholm for her formidably nuanced performance as ‘Queen’ Anne, but at all levels – cinematography, music, production design and more – Queen Of Hearts is an impressive feat. It makes seemingly impossible task seem easy and effortless.”
The Nordic Council Film Prize aims to raise interest in the Nordic cultural community and recognise outstanding artistic initiatives. Its nominees must have deep roots in Nordic culture, be of high artistic quality, and distinguish themselves by their artistic originality.
A prize of DKK 350,000 is awarded to the winning film to be shared equally between the screenwriter, director and producer, underlining how film as an art form is a collaborative effort.