So, what’s all the fuss about Askepott?


Photo: Agnete Brun / Nordisk Film Distribusjon / NTB
Astrid Smeplass plays the lead character in the Norwegian holiday blockbuster hit Tre nøtter til Askepott.

The Norwegian American

Since its release on Nov. 12, it’s been on top of the cinema charts in Norway: Tre nøtter til Askepott—Three Wishes for Cenedella—a Norwegian remake of the beloved German-Czech film that has been show on Norwegian television on Christmas Eve since 1973.

But was the remake really necessary? Apparently so, if the public’s response is any indication. 

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Astrid Smeplass, commonly known as Astrid S, one of Norway’s most beloved pop stars, shines in the lead role—and she looks like a Norwegian fairy-tale princess through and through, with her long blond hair and big blue eyes. And this princess can really sing, judging from the hit single from the film “Når snøen smelter”— When the snow melts. 

It’s the age-old tale of Cinderella, complete with an evil stepmother, played by Ellen Dorrit Petersen. She works hard to get her own daughter (Ingrid Giæver) invited to the ball at the royal palace, where the handsome prince (Cengiz Al) will choose his bride.

The prince has already been captivated by Askepott while out hunting in the forest, but she disappears before he can find out who she is. When the big day comes, the stepmother makes sure to keep Askepott busy on the farm, but Askepott has three magic nuts to grant her wishes.

The fairy tale is a warning about arrogance and ambition, telling us we can get the furthest in life thorough honesty and openness. Yes, these are old-fashioned themes, but their message is still relevant today.

For now, American audiences will have to wait to see this new Norwegian blockbuster, but they can see the trailer and hear Astrid S sing by searching for “Astrid S Askepott” on YouTube—enjoy!

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 17, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.