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Movie mountains spark Danish-Norwegian rivalry

The major Hollywood movie The Danish Girl is supposed to tempt tourists to come to Denmark. So, why is a Norwegian mountain included in one of the key scenes of the film?

The Danish Girl is one of this year's major contenders for the Oscars, with nominations for two of the actors (Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander) as well as for production design and costume design.

It tells the story of gender reassignment pioneer Einar Wegener (Redmayne), and his transformation into Lili Elbe in 1920s Denmark. The Danes spent 800 000 euros in order to get the production to come to Copenhagen and its surrounding areas.


However, now it’s revealed that a key scene in the movie is not shot in Denmark at all, according to an observant Reddit user.

In one of the scenes during the last part of the movie, the main character travels to Vejle Fjord – a traditional tourist destination in our neighbouring country. The scene is really touching, and the emotions are underlined by the dramatic landscapes with a clear blue fjord and majestic mountains.

The problem? Well, Denmark doesn’t really have any mountains of significance (their highest point, Møllehøj, reach only 170.86 metres above sea level). Instead, the Reddit users discovered that the scene was actually shot in Norway.

“We are going to receive a lot of disappointed tourists this summer,” writes one of the Danish Reddit users humorously.

Now, please bear in mind that the relationship between Norway and our neighbours Denmark is a warm and peaceful one. Yet it is also characterized by a bit of friendly rivalry, as is often the case with neighbours.

Truls Kotny is head of Film Commission Norway, a company that helps foreign film producers come to Norway. He can confirm that the scene was shot on the island Haramsøy north of Ålesund in Western Norway.

Director Tom Hooper (Les Miserables, Atonement) had previously visited the island, and wanted to come come back.

“He really fell in love with the place,” said Kotny.


#haramsøy #ullafyr

Et bilde publisert av BS Norway (@besan49)

Most Norwegians probably giggle when they hear this story, but not all Danes find it quite as amusing.

“The director took an artistic license, which he was entitled to. We did everything we could for him not to take that decision, but he did it anyway,” said Thomas Gammeltoft, CEO of Copenhagen Film Fund, to the newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

Tom Hooper felt that he had to apologize to Denmark when he met Danish journalists at a press conference today.

“I would like to ask the nation of Denmark for forgiveness. Movies like The Revenant has set the bar high for landscape shots, and spectacular landscapes are in demand. That’s why we did it,” said Hooper according to TV2.

Norway is in demand when it comes to major Hollywood productions these days. Right now The Snowman, the Jo Nesbø adaptation starring Michael Fassbender, is shot in Oslo and Western Norway. The brilliant sci-fi Ex Machina (Oscar nominated in several categories as well) was shot in and around Juvet landskapshotell.

Here are some more images from the beautiful Haramsøy:




Bilde tatt ut kjøkkenvinduet igår 😄 #haramsøy #nordøyane #sky #sea #norway

Et bilde publisert av Jenny Marie (@jennymarienilsen)

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