Best known for directing the international Swedish blockbuster "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Niels Arden Oplev was a Danish director who won acclaim for his unique visionary prowess. Oplev was bo...
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|Directed first American TV series episode, "Unforgettable" (CBS)|
|Directed first feature film, "Portland"|
|Directed internatinal blockbuster, "The Girl with the Dragon Tatto"|
Best known for directing the international Swedish blockbuster "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Niels Arden Oplev was a Danish director who won acclaim for his unique visionary prowess. Oplev was born Niels Pedersen on March 26, 1961 in Denmark. He initially followed an agricultural education like his father had, but switched directions and ventured into film. He enrolled into the National Film School of Denmark, where he directed a prize-winning documentary about his father's farm titled "Hugo fra Himmerland" (Hugo From Himmerland, 1987). By 1989, he graduated as a director from the prestigious film school and quickly began directing plays and short films, which included "Nogen" (Naked, 1992). Four years later, Oplev made his feature film directorial debut "Portland" (1996), a violent story about two brothers navigating the criminal underworld of a small town. The movie received critical acclaim at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear award. After directing his second film, "Fukssvansen" (2001), Oplev began working on TV shows. Two of them, "Rejseholdet" (Unit One, 2000-04) and "Ornen" (2004-06), nabbed the Best Foreign Language Television Series at the International Emmy Awards and brought recognition to the Danish director.
Oplev returned to directing feature films in 2006. While his first two showed the avant-garde nature of his film school days, Oplev's next few movies displayed a more mainstream approach to filmmaking. "We Shall Overcome" (2006) boosted his reputation as a talented director. Telling the story about a young boy's fight against a dictatorial school principal, "We Shall Overcome" received numerous awards from international film festivals. Oplev's next film, "Worlds Apart" (2008), continued to showcase his directorial talents and earned him nominations for Best Film at the Bodil Awards and Robert Festival. With the box office and critical success of "We Shall Overcome" and "Worlds Apart," Oplev was tapped to direct the ambitious adaptation of Stieg Larsson's international best-selling novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (2009). It starred Swedish actress Noomi Rapace as the troubled, yet resourceful, hacker and investigator Lisbeth Salander, who is tasked to solve the disappearance of the grandniece of a wealthy CEO.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" became a massive success, both critically and financially. Oplev's restrained handling of the movie's multiple plot threads and dark yet beautiful visuals were praised by critics. The movie went on to win numerous awards, including Best Foreign Film at the BAFTA Awards and Best Foreign Language Film for Oplev at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards. Oplev decided not to direct the two movie's two sequels due to time constraints. However, he chose to use his newfound success to work on projects in the United States. In his first follow up project after "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Oplev directed the pilot and two other episodes of the CBS crime series "Unforgettable" (2011- ). He enjoyed the timeline of working on a TV pilot, so when CBS approached him to direct another one two years later, he jumped at the opportunity. The TV series was "Under the Dome" (CBS 2013- ), based on the science fiction novel written by Stephen King about a town mysteriously and suddenly encased in an impenetrable barrier. In the same year, Oplev reunited with Noomi Rapace in the action drama "Dead Man Down" (2013).
|National Film School of Denmark|
|Filmed "Hugo fra Himmerland" (1987), a documentary about his father's farm|
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