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The Playlist

Alicia Vikander Talks The "Daring" ‘Hotell,’ ‘Ex Machina,’ ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 12, 2013 5:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Sometimes neophyte actresses come along who fizzle out after a couple of early promising roles. And then there are those who, from practically the first glimpse we get of them, we just know are going to be big, and are going to be around for a while. Alicia Vikander, a no-brainer inclusion on our On the Rise list from March 2012, definitely falls into the latter category, making a vivid impression first in her feature debut “Pure,” and then breaking internationally with the one-two punch in the corset of “A Royal Affair” and “Anna Karenina.”

Review: Mental Illness Drama 'Hotell' Starring Marrakech Best Fest Actress Alicia Vikander

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 11, 2013 6:03 PM
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Hotell Alicia Vikander
By turns funny, sad and discomfiting, Swedish director Lisa Langseth's "Hotell" is a terrific showcase for many of its ensemble, but especially its lead, Alicia Vikander, who here reteams with Langseth, director of her pre-"A Royal Affair," pre-"Anna Karenina" breakout, "Pure." But more than simply an acting exercise, the film is an entertainingly absurdist, occasionally caustic but never judgmental look at that most frequently mishandled of cinematic subjects: mental illness, its many variegated forms, and how we might find healing in the unlikeliest of ways. In fact, it's to the film's credit (though is perhaps as well a mark of the level of stigma attached to the term) that we hesitated even to use the phrase "mental illness" as it conjures up thoughts of exactly the kind of simplistic, diminishing portrayals that the film avoids.

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