Not a cautionary tale, nor a boozy bacchanal, the film instead provides a nuanced look at the existential highs and lows of binge drinking, with Mikkelsen holding center stage as a man intoxicated first by alcohol then by the vertiginous joie de vivre it seems to offer.
A gymnast and dancer before he became an actor, he carries his characters with a kind of raw, spring-loaded physicality that turns their bodies into extended expressions of whatever emotions rage beneath his haunting, impassive, ruggedly gorgeous features. From wordless tour-de-force turns to adventurous forays into absurdist black comedy, Mikkelsen has distinguished himself as an actor worth following anywhere.
Laser-focused on locating the elemental tensions of his characters, he hones in most on their brutality and grace, providing a blend of pathos and bone-dry wit that thaws out even the most glacially removed among them. The films of Danish writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen, all starring Mikkelsen, are most easily distinguished by his overlapping interests in male bonding, human frailty and food.
An early comedic role for Mikkelsen, it remains a stand-out. Mikkelsen plays Tonny, a slow-witted skinhead struggling to take ownership of his life after a decade-plus of slumming it on the streets or behind bars.
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Vicious, belligerent and adorned with unfortunate tattoos, Tonny still intimidates, but very hard years have stripped him of the impetuousness that ruled his misspent youth. Johann Friedrich Struensee Mikkelsen.
Dashing, ambitious and scintillatingly intelligent, Struensee is a dedicated man of the Enlightenment, and he appears as enamored of Caroline as he is their shared willingness to push the malleable Christian, with whom Struensee is also close, toward much-needed political reform. Innate sex appeal offset by a garish mustache, cleft lip, awkward demeanor, and most everything else about the character, Mikkelsen plays Elias, one of two estranged brothers who in short order learn about and travel to meet their biological father and three half-brothers.
Moreaubut its crude stitching is part of the joke in a film that prioritizes absurdist energy over narrative logic. Mikkelsen understands this, and his portrayal of Elias is a patchwork of silly then repugnant impulses and eccentricities, albeit one performed so sincerely he registers as a real character.
Altogether, the performance is an impressive feat: a madcap makeover that a lesser actor would have played big, distancing themselves from the character in the process, but that Mikkelsen instead surrenders to completely, holding this strange sad sack intimately close. More interested in personal enrichment than world domination, and gradually more fixated on his own survival than either, Le Chiffre is a modern, stripped-down Bond villain.
The two match wits first at the poker table, matched in their icy cool and mutual hatred, then again once the villain strips Bond naked and ties him to a chair, a sadistic streak puncturing his air of sophisticated menace. Indeed, were he not tasked with dragging the comatose survivor of a separate helicopter crash in the direction of safety, one wonders how long he might have remained in the fuselage of his wrecked vessel, deriving purpose and occasional triumph from the bare-bones logic of survival in this barren tundra.
Always thrillingly expressive as an actor, Mikkelsen here delivers an immense yet egoless portrayal of a man reduced to core survival instincts, making decision after decision in his long trudge toward an uncertain deliverance.
M mikkelsen talks filming polar half-naked in the cold
Ostracized from his tight-knit Danish community as the lie spre like wildfire, Lucas finds himself under threat without resources to defend himself. Fueled by misinformation, former friends and co-workers turn on Lucas with escalating force, and The Hunt takes shape as a brutally thought-provoking study of groupthink, bandwagon bias, and the savagery that can lurk inside polite society.
Cast against type as a soft-spoken beta male, complete with wire-frame glasses and blond hair combed messily forward, the star turns the rugged topography of his features into a roadmap to his pain, disbelief and mounting despair.
Drilling down into Lucas as a principled man, forcibly riddled with guilt and enraged by the knowledge he has done nothing to deserve it, Mikkelsen cuts deep enough to hit bone.
Since facing off as bond and le chiffre, a banker who works with terrorists, craig and mikkelsen have gone on to impressive acting careers.
As the mute warrior known only as One-Eye, Mikkelsen is so intensely, puzzlingly charismatic that he resembles, not accidentally, a figure of myth. Mikkelsen has a face that demands close study: piercing, slitted eyes in this case just the one, blazing ; a small mouth that twists almost imperceptibly between affection and wrath; skin stretched taut over cheekbones that appear carved, as if from granite, by the gods.
In Valhalla RisingRefn invites audiences to interpret One-Eye as violence incarnate, the devil on Earth, Christ resurrected, or a combination of the three. Hannibal Lecter, the serial killer cannibal played first by Anthony Hopkins, with such sinuous grace and unnerving sangfroid as to make the role near-instantly his own.
An expert psychiatrist and master chef whose fixation on his FBI associates—especially criminal profiler Will Graham Hugh Dancy —extends far beyond the professional, his Lecter radiates a dangerous charm that keeps those around him enthralled, even as his sophisticated tastes and impeccable manners disguise his more diabolical nature. Frequently over-excited and under-caffeinated, he sits down to surf the Criterion Channel but ends up, inevitably, on Shudder.
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