Alicia Vikander is this year’s recipient of the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is this year’s recipient of the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award, which is presented during the opening ceremony of the Göteborg Film Festival, the largest festival in the world of Nordic films and television series.

Vikander was in attendance to accept the award, and her presence ‘back home’ in Sweden has proven to be a hot ticket for the festival, lining the streets with posters saying “Welcome home, Alicia”.

When receiving her award, Vikander said:

“Göteborg Film Festival, you both trained and introduced me to the world of film, and this art form today is my passion. And it really feels like coming home, being here today.”

A major topic during the speech was the #metoo campaign:  “Strong women are alone, as women, on the big screen. The roles we play are against strong men. I’ve played four leading roles in a row, and didn’t have a single scene with another woman.”

“Instead of getting frustrated, I told myself to focus and that I can be part of change. Not alone, but together with others… It isn’t just about men versus women, it’s about us, women to women… We are sisters, not competitors, and with sisterhood comes play and creativity.”

You can watch her whole speech here:

As the festival is playing a retrospective of her work, we feel it’s the right time to also go through her films. If you are looking to discover Alicia Vikander’s Swedish films, as well as her recent international success, read on!

The films of Alicia Vikander

1. Min balsamerade mor (2002)

The first film Alicia ever appeared in was a TV-movie called Min balsamerade mor, which was released in 2002. With a slightly ‘out there’ plot, the film starts when the thirty-five-year-old Baroness, Jacquette Du Rietz, dies from consumption at a castle in Singapore. As the father, Count Gustaf Piper, grieves in his own unique way, the four young daughters have to try to understand their father’s way of handling their mother’s death.

If you want to watch the film, it’s on YouTube! I’ve started the clip where Alicia is spotted attending the funeral of her mother:

2. De drabbade (2003)

This television mini-series is actually quite intriguing; it was created by Måns Mårlind and Hans Rosenfeldt, who both went on to create the Nordic Noir series The Bridge (Mårlind also created Midnight Sun. One night a nameless force sweeps over Sweden, and scattered over the country are a few chosen, who are gifted with supernatural powers. These powers are the exact opposite to what the biggest issue in their lives are – the woman unable to give birth to a child gains the ability to heal dead people. A White Leader and a Black Leader seek out these people, to prepare for the final battle between good and evil. Vikander’s role in this series was so small that she was uncredited, but it has some pretty well-known names including Paprika Steen.

3. En decemberdröm (2005)

This kids series features Vikander in thirteen episodes as “Tony”, but sadly we couldn’t find much about it online. The series is about a boy falls who in a coma and discovers a society in his dreamscapes.

4. Standing Outside Doors (2006)

This short film is on YouTube! Watch it below:

5. Levande föda (2007)

This television mini-series has very few details online, but Vikander is in three episodes.

6. Darkness of Truth (2007)

Darkness of Truth is another short film, but it has quite a lot of information online. Darkness of Truth follows Sandra (Vikander), a young female student who rents a room from Anna-Lisa – a middle aged actress and former ballet dancer in Berlin. One day Sandra reads her landlady’s diary where she expresses outright hatred towards her tenant. As their relationship has appeared good and friendly, Sandra’s existence is shattered. Anna Lisa is a has-been, who claims to work at the theatre but instead steals from her wealthy acquaintances and gets drunk at the local pub. She struggles to maintain an illusion of her former star status. After failed attempts to confront Anna-Lisa Sandra decides to confront by writing a message in the diary.

Watch a clip here:

7. The Rain (2007)

In this film, Vikander features as a dancer. The Rain is a series of tableaux of everyday settings with people in various stages of their lives. Relations form and finish, memories of meetings mingle with the yearning for meetings that have not happened yet. The dance slowly takes over, forming a pattern that none of the characters can see – they are all connected. The rain affects them all. This is one of the few films where Vikander’s dancing talent comes out. You can watch the whole film here (skip to about 22 minutes in to see her).

8. Second Avenue (2007)

Second Avenue (Andra avenyn) is a Swedish television series about an ex-prisoner, his sexually confused son, and his on-and-off Christian girlfriend. Considering the top review on IMDb describes it as ‘a crappy soap opera’, maybe give it a miss.

9. Love (2008)

This romantic short is about Love and Sebastian who meet by coincidence in the street in the Swedish summer night. They happen to share the same secret, but their encounter will have severe consequences for the both of them. An innocent flirtation soon turns into a dangerous liaison. Alicia plays Fredrika, someone they encounter along the way.

10. Höök (2007)

This is a Swedish crime series that sounds a lot like The Killing (and was even released in the same year). It is about Eva Höök, who is a superintendent police in a big town in the north of Sweden. Together with her policeteam she solves a lot of murdercases while she’s raising her teenage son Lasse. Alicia had a very small role in this television series.

11. Susans längtan (2007)

Yes, here we have another horror short. Alicia is credited as ‘Girl in Apartment’, so I doubt she had too big a role. You can watch it on IMDb here. 

12. Pure (2010)


Pure really is Alicia’s first major film. Katarina (Vikander) is 20 years old. With a troubled past in a dreary suburb, her life seems to be already set in stone – until she discovers music. Everything changes when she hears a performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the Gothenburg Concert Hall that sends her reeling and opens up a beautiful new world. She feels that she has to change her life and get as far away from her ugly reality as possible. But the path she has to follow proves a treacherous one, filled with lies, betrayal and a dangerous liaison with the married conductor Adam. Yet Katarina is ready to do anything to gain her new identity.

13. The Crown Jewels (2011) 

Fragancia (Vikander) is arrested for the attempted murder of Richard Persson, the son of a powerful factory owner. During the interrogation her amazing and remarkable life story is revealed. We follow her through her impoverished childhood, her adolescence where she meets the great love of her life, ice hockey star Petterson-Jonsson and the lead up to the fatal night where the story begins.

14. A Royal Affair (2012)

A Royal Affair was Vikander’s international breakthrough; the film was hugely success both in Scandinavia and abroad. In 1767, the British Princess Caroline (Vikander) is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII of Denmark, but her life with the erratic monarch in the oppressive country becomes an isolating misery. However, Christian soon gains a fast companion with the German Dr. Johann Struensee, a quietly idealistic man of the Enlightenment. As the only one who can influence the King, Struensee is able to begin sweeping enlightened reforms of Denmark through Christian even as Caroline falls for the doctor. However, their secret affair proves a tragic mistake that their conservative enemies use to their advantage in a conflict that threatens to claim more than just the lovers as their victims.

15. Anna Karenina (2013)

While Vikander only had a minor role in the film, it was still a clear sign that she was on the path to a successful international career. In late-19th-century Russian high society, St. Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky.

16. The Fifth Estate (2013)

This is another international film in which Vikander only had a minor role, but the film, which is about Julian Assange, did have a major release and she surely caught the eyes of a few higher-ups.

17. Hotell (2013)

Hotell is a very successful Swedish film, directed by Lisa Langseth (who she just did Euphoria with), and was another big success for Vikander. Erika (Vikander) has it all: a good job, lots of friends and a secure relationship. Until the day it all falls apart. Suddenly this perfect life means nothing, and the feelings she once was able to control are no longer within reach. She starts going to group therapy and meets other people suffering from various forms of trauma. One day Erika and this eclectic group of four people decide to take matters into their own hands and heads off together in search of a way out. They start checking into hotels – a place of complete anonymity where one can wake up as a different person.

18. Testament of Youth (2014)

This British film now sees Vikander in the leading role alongside Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones). A British woman recalls coming of age during World War I – a story of young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times.

19. Son of a Gun (2014)

Vikander had a minor role in this Australian film, which is about gangs during the Gold Rush.

20. Ex-Machina (2014)

Ex-Machina was a huge success in the U.S, and stars Vikander as a humanoid who is evaluated by a young programmer.

21. Seventh Son (2014)

Alicia had a role in this American film about Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, who escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him.

22. The Danish Girl (2015)

The Danish Girl was the role for which Vikander landed her Oscar and boomed into international stardom. The film is a fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

23. The Man From U.N.C.L.E (2015)

Alicia stars in this action-packed film from Guy Ritchie. In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

24. Burnt (2015)

Alicia had a minor role in this cooking film starring Bradley Cooper. Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.

25. The Magic Diner (2015)

The Magic Diner is an American short film where a girl finds herself in a diner with a machine that gives her answers to any question she asks.

25. Jason Bourne (2016)

Vikander starred in the reboost of the Bourne franchise. The CIA’s most dangerous former operative is drawn out of hiding to uncover more explosive truths about his past.

26. The Light Between Oceans (2016)

Starring alongside her husband, Michael Fassbender, this British film is about a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia who raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat.

27. Birds Like Us (2017)

Vikander lends her voice in this animated film. The story follows a group of birds on a journey where they try to find a better life for themselves and the ones they love.

28. Tulip Fever (2017)

Starring in this British film, an artist falls for a young married woman while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.

29. Submergence (2017)

This film didn’t create too much buzz when it was released, but stars Vikander and James McAvoy. In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, an Englishman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance. We couldn’t really find a trailer for it, which is odd.

30. Moomins and the Winter Wonderland (2017)

Vikander lends her voice alongside Stellan Skarsgård in this brand-new Moomins film.

31. Euphoria 2017)

Alicia returns to her Swedish roots and works with director Lisa Langseth in Euphoria, which is also produced by her new production company, Vikarious Productions. Sisters in conflict travelling through Europe toward a mystery destination.

What’s next for Alicia?

Alicia Vikander is set to star in two new films that will be released in 2018. The first of these films is Tomb Raider, which is currently creating a lot of buzz. Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

The second film is Freak Shift, which is directed by Ben Wheatley. Little is known about the film at the moment, so we’ll keep you updated!

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.