Paprika, the Woman, Not the Spice

Yes, you heard me. There’s a woman named Paprika – Paprika Steen to be exact. Many film enthusiasts would deem her a rare gem from Denmark, continually turning out tour-de-force onscreen performances. Her native Denmark regards her as “the” actress of our times. Others have regarded her as the Danish-American Meryl Streep. No matter how the media or public views her, one thing is certain – Paprika has begun to make a dent in the upcoming Oscar season for her lauded performance in Applause, and I have the pleasure of being a part of her ‘coming to Hollywood’ venture.

Having joined the World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation (World Wide) family some months ago, I was excited to delve into the film distribution project that was Applause, particularly to infiltrate numerous marketing mediums in order to put the word out about Paprika’s Oscar-worthy performance. With World Wide’s diligence in full swing, it was no surprise that we would begin Oscar-qualifying runs on Friday, December 3.

Making its official debut to American audiences this coming January, Applause tells the story of a recovering alcoholic stage actress seeking to regain control over her life while reconnecting with her two young sons and struggling with the pressures of middle age. This intense and intricate personal struggle reveals themes that women especially can connect with, including a mother’s relationship with her children and aging. The film has been showcased at numerous film festivals, such as Toronto, London, and Hamptons International Film Festivals, winning recognition for Paprika’s bravura performance as “Thea.”

Paprika, known for her roles in The Celebration, Open Hearts, and Adam’s Apples, is rapidly gaining acclaim in the United States. Notably, her performance in Applause has been praised by such respected critics as Roger Ebert, remarking in the Chicago Sun-Times, “An extraordinary performance by Paprika Steen.” Also, The New York Times recently reviewed the film, noting Paprika’s onscreen presence as “one of the best screen performances of the year.” If Marion Cotillard’s Oscar-winning performance in La Vie En Rose (2008) is any indication of a foreign film actress’s odds of taking home the Golden Boy against well-known American actresses, then Paprika has a shot. And if Paprika’s outstanding performance is any indication of a deserving win, then I believe she has a very good shot.