News from the Locarno Festival

Best actor: Elliott Crosset Hove

Vinterbrødre - Concorso internazionale

Best actor: Elliott Crosset Hove


His face emerges from the chalk powder, his body stands out among the thin trees of a white forest or snaps to attention as shown on an old army videotape. The figure of Emil, lead of Vinterbrødre (Winter Brothers), can't be separated from the physical presence of Elliott Crosset Hove, the young Danish actor who, after graduating at Danske Scenekunstskole in 2015, has already earned two nominations for the Robert of Danmarks Film Akademi awards and, this year, the Årets Reumert Talentpris theatrical award. It is not surprising then that the actor was chosen by Hlynur Pálmason even before writing the screenplay, giving means to the Icelandic filmmaker (his feature film debut) to draw Emil on the skin of Elliott Crosset Hove, with whom he had already worked on his own diploma short, A Painter (2013).

In the film, Elliott Crosset Hove drops into the white: of the icy winter forest and the density of the chalk mine in which Emil works. White is also the character of his persona, wild-eyed and marginalized, who dreams of his neighbor while he distills strange liquors with chemicals stolen from the mine, it is not whether it's a naïve game or a subtle vengeance towards those who keep him at a distance (and here the actor implies a disturbing ambiguity in his interpretation). So white is also the mark of the coldness of his relationship with the other factory workers – beside him, only his brother Johan (Simon Sears, the other focus point of the film). To tell of the loneliness and anxiety of being loved by Emil, Pálmason plays with the body of Elliott Crosset Hove, making it a compositional element in the rigorous geometries of the shots (it is not surprising that the director is also an artist) and letting lengthy footage allow his expressions and his gestures to vibrate on the screen.

Sara Groisman

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