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CHRISTMAS

‘Tre nøtter til Askepott’: How does the remake stack up against the Christmas classic? 

If you know anything about Christmas in Norway, then you’ll know ‘Tre nøtter til Askepott’ is a festive institution. But, how does the new recently released version compare to the original? 

Pictured is Schloss Moritzburg, where large parts of the original were filmed.
Does the remake live up to the original? Pictured is Schloss Moritzburg, where large parts of the original were filmed. Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Every year since 1996, Norwegians all over the country have gathered on the morning of Christmas Eve to tune in to ‘Tre nøtter til Askepott’ (Three Nuts for Cinderella) on public broadcaster NRK. 

The film is actually a dub of a 1973 Czech adaptation of Cinderella, with all characters voiced by one man, Knut Risan. The movie strays from the typical fairy godmother plotline. Instead, Cinderella receives three magical wish-granting nuts. 

READ ALSO: Explaining Norway’s peculiar Christmas tradition

Given the nearly 50-year-old film’s various idiosyncrasies, it is undoubtedly one of Norway’s odder Christmas traditions. This can make it (mainly speaking for myself here) a puzzling watch for foreigners who didn’t grow up with it. 

Luckily a Norwegian remake of the classic has recently been released at cinemas, which might make the Christmas tradition a lot easier to get into for those put off by the sometimes jarring original. 

The new film features a slew of Norwegian stars and has received positive write-ups from critics. 

It has garnered scores of five (this may seem low, but it isn’t, Norwegians grade things on a scale of 1-6) from film mags Kinosmagasinet and Filmfront and newspapers Bergens Tidende, Dagavisen and Nordlys

Dagavisen was particularly positive about pop-star Astrid S’s performance as Cinderella and said the film had all the ingredients to go on and become a future Christmas classic. 

“Astrid Semplass fills Cinderella’s sparkling shoes with down to earth charm and strong determination in ‘Tre nøtter til Askepott’, a film that has everything it takes to become a new classic for the genre,” Dagavisen said in its review

Overall, the film garnered praise for its cast, set designs and treatment of the beloved original. Some less positive reviews said that it lacked some of the romance and charm of the original. 

With its modern production values and star-studded cast, the remake should at least help the Norwegian Christmas tradition become easier to get into and act as a springboard for learning to love the original, which Norwegians adore for all its quirks and oddities.  

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CHRISTMAS

Could Christmas in Norway be affected by new Covid-19 measures?

Norway’s government has in the last two days announced tightened rules relating to Covid-19 isolation and face masks. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre sought to reassure the public over plans for the Christmas holidays.

Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th.
Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th. Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

The government on Tuesday announced new measures relating to quarantine rules for confirmed Covid-19 cases and face mask guidelines.

The measures, which are being introduced in response to increasing infection numbers, include more stringent isolation rules, face mask recommendations and a push to vaccinate over 65s with booster jabs as soon as possible.

“On one side, we must avoid full hospitals and strain on the health system. On the other side we must live as normally as possible. We must keep finding the right balance in the measures,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

Tighter quarantine rules for suspected cases with the new Omicron variant were meanwhile launched on Monday. People who test positive for or are believed to be infected with the Omicron variant will need to isolate for longer than others with the virus.

READ ALSO:

In comments during a briefing to press on Tuesday, Støre sought to reassure the public over plans to spend Christmas with loved ones.

“The measures we have introduced are settings that make it possible to celebrate a good Christmas while keeping in mind what you can do with your loved ones,” the PM said in comments reported by newspaper VG.

“We can plan to be with our families at Christmas,” he added.

Last year saw Christmas in Norway significantly impacted by restrictions on the number of people who could meet and mixing between households.

Such far-reaching restrictions are not expected in 2021. Støre did not however rule out additional measures being introduced before December 24th.

“What we have presented today is based on the knowledge we already have,” he said.

“It is the total restrictions that count. If we are in the same situation (as now) when we get to December 24th, you can celebrate Christmas normally,” Støre said, but noted the virus would be present throughout the winter.

The aim of any measures is to keep the pandemic under control throughout the winter, he added.

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