Little Lotte and her father who works as the Queens bodyguard moves in with Kristin, a former beauty queen, and her daughter, Vendela. Kristin is grooming Vendela to win the Little Miss ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Amanda Jean Kvakland ...
Vendela
Bård Tufte Johansen ...
Helge
Bente Wethal ...
Mor til en misse jente
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Øivind Egeland ...
Kammerherre
Kjetil Indregard ...
Body Flame Mann
Aamund Johannesen ...
Sjåfør
...
Sjernet Prins
Espen Torkildsen ...
Fanfarist
Trude Øynes ...
Kammerpike

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Little Lotte and her father who works as the Queens bodyguard moves in with Kristin, a former beauty queen, and her daughter, Vendela. Kristin is grooming Vendela to win the Little Miss Norway contest, and as a result both girls gets more and more preoccupied with their looks. When Lotte is allowed to participate in the contest it soon becomes clear that being too vain can be a frightening experience. Written by Signy

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Skjønnhet har mange former...Et grøssende eventyr fra det moderne Norge.

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Family | Horror

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12 September 2003 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Lilla fröken Norge  »

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User Reviews

 
Little Miss Norway
24 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

Norway is a country whose cinema seems to be somewhat overshadowed by those of Sweden and Denmark. I have only seen a handful of Norwegian movies, but I like especially the Elling trilogy (2001 / 2003 / 2005) about the daily struggles of a socially inhibited man of the same name. Hilde Heier's modern fairytale The Beast of Beauty (literally "Little Miss Norway") is a strange but somewhat watchable addition to my list of Nordic movies that I have seen.

Lotte (Ida Marie Dahr Nygaard) is a young girl living with her widowed father Helge (Bård Tufte Johansen), who works as the Queen's bodyguard. She is enthusiastic about moving in the house of Helge's fiancée, a former beauty queen Kristin (Ingrid Lorentzen), and her daughter Vendela (Amanda Jean Kvakland) who is also a child beauty pageant contestant. However, Kristin and Vendela turn out to be vain and mean to Lotte, hiding some kind of a sinister secret related to obsessive personal grooming and the upcoming children's beauty contest where even the kind Queen herself has been invited.

As a modern variant of the old Cinderella fairytale, the film aims to retain the dark atmosphere of many old folk stories that often seem very grim for family entertainment from a modern point of view. The Beast of Beauty actually turns into a flat-out horror film towards the end; the axe-wielding chase scene (an open homage to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining) and the grotesque transformation finale are certainly not suitable for the youngest kids in the family in spite of the fairytale theme that may attract little ones to the movie earlier on. However, slightly older viewers may see the scary atmosphere as a refreshing change from the all-too-common namby-pamby family film pap and perhaps appreciate the sex jokes better as well.

The film carries a strong message against child abuse and modern obsession with beauty and youthfulness, but I feel it could have focused more on Lotte's emotions. Her loneliness and realistic longing for her deceased mother would have been great material for a melancholic mood piece, but the film is more interested in advancing the first-hand plot than lingering in atmospheric details. As other reviews have pointed out, the supernatural elements and the Queen character do not fit in very comfortably and feel like they have been tacked on just to make the movie more fairytale-like. I think the film could have done fine with just drama, sci-fi and horror, but perhaps the fantasy elements and a happy ending were needed to soften the tone to make it more suitable for young audiences – it is supposed to be a family film after all.

In a way the "horror movie for kids" approach reminded me of a Danish sci-fi tale The Substitute (2007), although the latter is more streamlined in its methods of mixing sci-fi with creepy suspense. I am of two minds about how I like The Beast of Beauty; on the one hand I enjoyed the dark atmosphere, but on the other hand there was not enough character drama and the seams between the genre transitions are a tad too visible. Luckily the kid actors deliver natural performances and the enthusiastic roaming of Lorentzen provides some amusing comedy amidst the dreariness. In the end, I would call the movie watchable regardless of its flaws: the satirical style should keep adults interested enough while preteens can enjoy the mystery bits more.


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