Oscar-winner Thomas Vinterberg on ‘celebration and grief’ of Another Round

·3-min read

Director Thomas Vinterberg has spoken about the “celebration and grief” that has accompanied the release of his Oscar-winning film Another Round.

The Danish filmmaker collected the Academy Award for best international feature in April, for the film about a group of middle-aged school teachers who decide to drink alcohol every day to see how different levels of drunkenness affect their social and professional lives.

During his emotional speech he held back tears as he paid tribute to his daughter Ida, who was killed in a car accident during the making of the film.

He told the audience in Los Angeles: “We ended up making this movie for her as her monument.

“So Ida, this is a miracle that just happened and you are part of this miracle, but this one’s for you.”

Reflecting on that moment as the film is released in the UK, he told the PA news agency: “On the evening of winning I was very nervous, extremely nervous, for two reasons.

“One of which is that I had to do a speech. And the second was that I might not have to do a speech, which also made me very nervous.

“My wife told me that my bow tie was knocking.

“So it was a bit of a relief when we won the Oscar and to get the speech done. It ended as a great night.

“I was told I had one minute, no white paper, no second names. And I did four minutes. But they were nice to me, they kept me going.”

Discussing the original inspiration for the film, which he wrote with collaborator Tobias Lindholm and which stars Casino Royale actor Mads Mikkelsen, he said: “The film is to some degree rebelling against over- controlled, repetitious midlife, but it’s also rebelling against a performance culture, which we find primarily amongst the youngsters.

“As much as we made a movie about drinking, we also made a movie about living, about living as opposed to just existing, and about the ability to break free of this control.

“There’s a constant evaluation of all of us, more and more, is particularly now with people on social media, we’re constantly evaluated both socially and at our work.

“It doesn’t leave much room for being inspired or impulsive or creative, and I think people miss that.”

He added: “We started this project back in 2013. Now those issues were then overshadowed by the tragedy that happened in my life later, and things started to get new meanings down the road when we wrote this. But that’s, that’s kind of what it grew out of.

Thomas Vinterberg with his daughter Ida and wife Helene Reingaard Neumann
Thomas Vinterberg with his daughter Ida and wife Helene Reingaard Neumann (Matt Crossick/PA)

“I wouldn’t say that any of us was in a midlife crisis, this movie’s not autobiographical in any way, but we both felt that we belong to a very, very, almost oppressively secure society.”

Reflecting on the emotional experience of sharing the film with the world, he said: “It’s been like a long, stretched-out version of a scene at the end of the movie, because there’s been so much celebration and so much grief at the same time.

“So now I have to get used to everyday life again and it’s going quite well, but but it’s all very different.”

Another Round is out now in UK cinemas.

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