5. Valhalla Rising (2009)
The film that is Nicolas Winding Refn’s personal favorite in his filmography, “Valhalla Rising” is far from being an easy piece, despite its astonishing cinematography and metaphysical tone.
The film tells the adventures of One Eye, a mute warrior of great strength, who works as symbolization of Odin, the god of the gods in Norse mythology. The film was not terribly appreciated by the masses because of its cathartic aspect and very slow narrative rhythm.
Mikkelsen is simply amazing in the role of One Eye, building a credible and complete character, immune to feelings and wicked in all his actions. The Danish actor is also perfect in the violent and dramatic scenes, bringing huge intrigue into the plot, without use of words or any type of verbalization.
4. Adam’s Apples (2005)
This is a film for dark humor aficionados. Positioning between the duality of good and evil, “Adam’s Apples” provides a very unique kind of story, where the actors are crucial for its success.
Danish humor is very peculiar, as you may understand by seeing the comedy series “What if?”, which was a big success in Denmark. So, whether or you love it or hate it, “Adam’s Apples” holds a particularly interesting visual aesthetic that, with talented actors, provides a very pleasant film to watch.
Curiously, director Anders Thomas Jensen worked with Mikkelsen in all the films he directed, such as “Flickering Lights”, “The Green Butchers” and “Men & Chicken”, which that confirms the argument, “don’t change a winning team”.
With regards to Mikkelsen, many affirm this was the film that completely changed the actor’s image in his country and, since “Adam’s Apples”, he was accepted as a complete artist and a reference for those who wanted to become actors.
3. A Royal Affair (2012)
Starring Mikkelsen and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, “A Royal Affair” is a historical film about the Danish royal family in the 18th century. Supported by a big budget, the film earned a good deal of fame, winning lots of prizes at European film festivals. It was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.
“A Royal Affair” also has an essential attribute that all historical films should have: it portrays a relevant period or episode of history. It sums up an affair that changed a nation forever.
Aside from this, the best part of the movie is the acting, where Vikander and Mikkelsen are amazing in everything they do. The film was also a key work to catapulting Mikkelsen into foreign markets and bigger roles, such as the ones he will perform this year.
As Johann Friedrich Struensee, Mikkelsen shows he suits any role and can be very sumptuous and smooth, contrasting with other violent and energetic performances he gave in the past.
2. After the Wedding (2006)
Credited as one of the best Danish films of all time, “After the Wedding” is drama in its purest state of matter. The secret was the anti-stereotypical formula used in the plot, which leaves the audience with nothing to guess and willing just to watch and be immersed in the story.
“After the Wedding” is about how it would really happen and, for that, is the kind of film that stays in our memory for years. Those characters are the most credible ones because they are genuine in everything, from their reactions to their behaviors.
Great films are better with great actors and, based on this, Mikkelsen offered a performance to remember. In the skin of Jacob, Mikkelsen shows that, above all, this is the kind of role where he can shine. Basically, you just have to use a mathematical formula: the more you increase the levels of drama, the more Mikkelsen will be great.
It’s as simple as that. That happens because we are talking about an actor who can act just with an eye narrowing or a nose projection and, when that happens, the power to communicate is almost infinite.
1. The Hunt (2012)
This is a film about an underused topic in cinema: pedophilia. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, another huge name in Danish cinema, “The Hunt” deals with injustice, guilt, social conventions and belief.
Lucas is a solitary teacher with an unfortunate life, who sees his luck changing gradually when he finds love again and gets good news about the custody of his son. When all seems to be great, the protagonist is accused of molesting a child and his life collapses irreparably.
Here, Mikkelsen offers acting of the highest caliber, achieving a kind of proximity with viewers. It’s almost inevitable to ask “what if it was me?” and that kind of affection is only possible in great stories with excellent direction and, of course, amazing actors like Mikkelsen or Bo Larsen.
Curiously, Mikkelsen doesn’t have the role of a common man caught in a harsh situation. Lucas is a very complex man who isn’t a role model, and he faces lots of unfair disillusions. Nevertheless, we can relate to him.
Author Bio: Pedro Bento is a portuguese samurai, who travels with his wakizashi sword into the infinity of his mind, always forgetting his way home. He doesn’t believe in inspirational moments, but he likes to hide in a secret place, where heavy metal is always blasting and no one can bother him, except his apathetic girlfriend Inês. Yes, he’s a loner.