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Mads Mikkelsen and Thomas Vinterberg go ‘Another Round’

Mads Mikkelsen sits on a bench in Thomas Vinterberg's "Another Round."
Mads Mikkelsen in Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round.”
(Henrik Ohsten / Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Hello! I’m Mark Olsen and welcome to the newsletter companion to “The Envelope: The Podcast,” where my cohost, Yvonne Villarreal, and I bring you highlights from each week’s episode.

The producers behind all eight films nominated for best picture recently spoke with The Times about what happens next, where they think the future of movie theaters and the theatrical experience might be headed as the world begins to open back up.

As Sacha Ben Harroche, producer of “Sound of Metal,” put it, “It’s a unique experience, and I don’t think it’s gonna go anywhere. It might be transformed. … But I don’t think movies are going anywhere. I just think that it’s going to be more diverse — we will have a different spectrum and way of experiencing movies and entertainment. But I’m just looking forward for theaters to try to fine-tune to this new world. … But yeah, I don’t think theaters are going anywhere. … Maybe I’m naive and too hopeful, but I want to believe that.”

There have already been many changes to the business of exhibition and the effect of that will likely be felt by moviegoers. Ryan Faughnder takes a look at what it might mean for theaters and patrons alike when titles such as Disney’s upcoming “Black Widow” and “Cruella” make the leap to a day-and-fate release, in theaters and on a streaming platform at the same time.

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One movie unquestionably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.” Although still among the highest-grossing movies during the pandemic, the movie made nowhere near what it might originally have. And the Oscar nominations for visual effects and production design feel like only a fraction of the awards recognition it might once have earned.

For The Times, Daron James spoke with visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson about achieving the effects of a car chase partly in reverse, having a building both implode and explode at the same time and crashing an actual 747 jetliner.

And yet the movie has a startlingly low number of visual effects shots, only around 300, with as much of the work being achieved in-camera as possible.

“That number is not unusual for Chris,” Jackson says. “Figuring out ways to shoot real effects is ideal. If we don’t have to do any work in post, it will be that much more pleasant for him.”

Actor Mads Mikkelsen, left, and director Thomas Vinterberg with wineglasses.
Actor Mads Mikkelsen, left, and director and cowriter Thomas Vinterberg shooting “Another Round,” a bittersweet drama of middle-age discontent nominated for two Academy Awards.
(Henrik Ohsten / Samuel Goldwyn Films)

On this week’s episode of the podcast, I interview filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mads Mikkelsen about their latest collaboration, “Another Round.”

The Danish movie recently won big at the European Film Awards, including best film, actor and director, and was nominated for the Oscars for international feature as well as director.

In the bittersweet drama, Mikkelsen plays Martin, a middle-age schoolteacher who’s felt the spark dim from his marriage, his work and his life. So he and some friends decide to put to the test an obscure psychologist’s theory that human beings need a higher blood alcohol content than they naturally have by a controlled regimen of drinking all the time. What at first seems a jolly and surprisingly effective idea begins to take on a darker and destructive cast as they continue with their experiment and Martin learns some hard-won lessons about himself and what truly matters.

As Vinterberg said the project’s origins, “To begin with, we just looked at world history, and we saw how many fantastic and great accomplishments have been done by people who were actually drunk. And we wanted to make a celebration of alcohol and that developed into a more ambitious project of making a film about the whole nature of alcohol, also the dark sides.

“And then in the process of writing, again we wanted to elevate this to be more than about just drinking. We wanted it to be about life and our humbleness.”

Thanks for reading/listening/subscribing. We have lots more conversations to come, including talks with Amanda Seyfried for “Mank,” Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman,” Kate Mara for “A Teacher,” Cynthia Erivo for “Genius: Aretha” and Steven Canals for “Pose.”

Listen to the podcast here and subscribe to “The Envelope: The Podcast” on Apple Podcasts or your podcast app of choice.

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