Everyone processes grief differently. Some people turn inward, looking for answers to complex equations that only prove that everything happens by chance. Others direct their rage outward to avoid confronting any other feelings. Sometimes, these two people team up and go on a revenge spree. You know, as you do.
2020 has been a hell of a year. With theatres ending up being an unsafe place to be during an ongoing worldwide pandemic you’d think it would be a harder year for film, but looking back it’s clear that this year has been an as vibrant and diverse year for film as any other.
Of course, the difference is that without theatres, there have been far fewer blockbusters and far more indie and middle-tier films. The impact on my film diary for the year has been an interesting one, with bigger budget films losing the endorphin high of the theatrical experience –and thus losing some of the immediate forgiveness they earn if they aren’t great. Additionally, film festivals moved to an online experience either in whole or in part this year, which has meant that I have “attended” more of them.
As a result, I have seen more than 120 of 2020’s films, a steep increase from years past. Narrowing the list down to a group of favourites is as difficult as ever! Also this year, for the second time, I am going to highlight some of the performers that blew me away.
Mads Mikkelsen is one of our great performers. Whether he’s playing a cannibal serial killer on TV or a James Bond villain, he puts everything he has into his performances, and each one of them feels sincere and true.
This year at the Vancouver International Film Festival, he starred in Another Round, a film about a man who breaks himself out of complacency by way of a heightened blood alcohol content. It is, to date, one of my favourite performances of the year. So, inspired by this, and by the fact that going to the movies is still a bad idea in most places globally, here are four more great performances from Mads Mikkelsen.
Most people have had, or will have, a moment like the one Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) is having at the start of Another Round. Coasting through life, disengaged from his work as a school teacher, the parents of his students organise an intervention because they know their children are going to be ill-prepared. Disengaged from his home life, exacerbated by his wife working nights as he is working days, or is that her choice because he is simply not present?
At dinner with four colleagues one night, following a confession that he knows he has lost something but can’t exactly put his finger on what, someone presents the hypothesis that the human body has a 0.05% blood alcohol deficiency. That people are more relaxed, more confident, and better able to achieve when they are just slightly drunk. Martin and his friends decide to put this hypothesis to the test.
The idea of being slightly drunk all the time sounds like an appealing one, empowering even. The fantastic thing about having slightly less than two drinks is that it can feel like anything is possible. The problem with having slightly less than two drinks is it leads to the urge to have slightly more than two drinks.