Great book-to-movie adaptations are a rare breed; however it’s an art that the Scandinavian region seems to have mastered.
Tonight as part of World Movies Celebrates: 20 years we’re presenting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Swedish thriller based on the best-selling book of the same name.
Until then, let’s take a look at some more of the best Scandinavian films that were originally page-turning novels.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Sweden, 2009)
It’s hard to go past Steig Larsson’s dark murder mystery The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The film follows a journalist’s search for a woman who has been missing for forty years, aided by a young computer hacker. Niel’s Arden Oplev’s original Swedish version was a rare film that lived up to the hype preceding it. Brutal yet captivating, it engrossed audiences across the globe. See it for yourself Friday 6 November at 8.30pm AEDT.
The Keeper of Lost Causes (Denmark, 2010)
We all know that good books don’t automatically make for good movies, however the Keeper of Lost Causes won’t let you down. It tells the story of chief detective Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad who become involved in a five-year-old case concerning the mystery disappearance of a politician. Mikkel Norgaard’s high-end adaptation made for another effective and well-acted Scandinavian crime film based on a bestselling novel.
Easy Money (Sweden, 2010)
Jen Lapadius’s Swedish crime fiction Easy Money was instantly a best seller, so it’s no surprise it was made into a film. The story follows Johan “JW” Westlund, a poor man living a double life in the upper class areas of Stockholm. After meeting a wealthy girl, he is enticed into the world of organised crime and begins to sell cocaine to finance his expensive lifestyle. Daniel Espinosa’s smart, fast-moving and thought-provoking film makes for gripping viewing.
The Man on the Roof (Sweden, 1976)
Sj√∂wahl and Whal√∂√∂, the Swedish wife and husband team of detective writers, wrote ten crime novels between 1965 and 1975. One of their best loved titles – The Abominable Man – follows an investigation in to the murder of a senior policeman who was known for brutality. Bo Wideberg’s 1976 dramatization is considered one of the best Swedish crime films ever made. The film manages to retain the book’s realism and social criticism without becoming moralising.
Two Lives (Norway, 2012)
This Norwegian drama is based on Hannelore Hippe’s novel Ice Ages. It follows Katrine, the daughter of a Norwegian woman and a German occupation soldier, who finds her idyllic life disrupted as the Berlin War crumbles. The film interpretation is a well-acted and suspenseful mystery that we highly recommend watching.