Jonny Vang

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Jonny Vang
Jonny Vang.jpg
Directed by Jens Lien
Produced by Dag Alveberg
Written by Ståle Stein Berg
Starring Aksel Hennie
Laila Goody
Fridtjov Såheim
Marit Andreassen
Bjørn Sundquist
Nils Vogt
Music by Calexico
Edited by Pål Gengenbach
Distributed by United International Pictures (UIP)
Release date
14 February 2003 (2003-02-14) (Norway)
Running time
85 minutes
Country Norway
Language Norwegian
Budget 14,500,000 kr[1]

Jonny Vang is a Norwegian film from 2003. It was directed by Jens Lien after a script by Ståle Stein Berg. The music was composed by the band Calexico. The plot is a drama-comedy from the Norwegian countryside, where the protagonist Jonny Vang is frustrated in his efforts to prosper as a breeder of earthworms. The film was reasonably well received by critics, and was awarded an Amanda Award for "Best Actor" in 2003.


Jonny Vang (Aksel Hennie) lives on the Norwegian countryside, where he is trying to establish a business breeding earthworms. His ambitions to expand are thwarted by the bank manager (Trond Brænne), who will not lend him the necessary money. He lives with his mother Brita (Marit Andreassen) and her difficult friend Odvar (Bjørn Sundquist). On top of all of this, he is also carrying out an affair with Tuva (Laila Goody) – the wife of his best friend Magnus (Fridtjov Såheim). Things get even worse when an unknown assailant knocks him over the head with a shovel.


  • Jonny Vang - Aksel Hennie
  • Tuva - Laila Goody
  • Magnus - Fridtjov Såheim
  • Brita - Marit Andreassen
  • Odvar - Bjørn Sundquist
  • Police Officer - Nils Vogt
  • Gunnar - Anders Ødegård
  • Helene - Silje Salomonsen
  • Bank manager - Trond Brænne


Jonny Vang was director Jens Lien's debut as a feature film director.[1] Lien had previously established himself as a director of television advertisements.[2] He had also been represented twice at the Cannes International Film Festival, with short films.[3] He described the film as "a drama comedy, a juicy story, life, lust and rock 'n' roll. It's a dead serious comedy."[3]

Lien originally considered Hennie too young for the role, but the actor was persistent, and finally persuaded the director that he was the right man for the part.[1] The movie, where the story takes place in Gudbrandsdalen, was filmed in the town of Fåvang.[4]

To get Calexico's permission to use their music in the film, Lien had to travel to the U.S. in person. He brought with him an unfinished version of the film, but the only place where he could play the VHS tape was at a nearby rental store, where 30 customers joined the band and the director, who had to simultaneously translate the plot.[5] The music is a mix of traditional American and Mexican music, and is gathered from the band's albums Spoke (1997), The Black Light (1998) and Hot Rail (2000).[6]


Jonny Vang was reasonably well received by the Norwegian press. The newspaper Dagbladet gave the film four out of six points, and commended it for good scenes, yet found it somewhat predictable. The reviewer mentioned Calexico's soundtrack as one of the best parts of the movie.[7] Aftenposten's Per Haddal awarded five out of six points, and believed the movie was a well functional comedy. Also Haddal commended the choice of music.[4]

International reviewers were less enthusiastic. Variety complimented the actors' performances, but found that the movie did not "have a great deal of drive or momentum".[8] The reviewer at the Swedish website "DVD forum" jokingly said that he laughed often, so he hoped it was a comedy. Generally content with the movie, he found Hennie's performance somewhat "theatrical".[9]

Aksel Hennie was awarded an Amanda Award for "Best Actor" for his effort in the film in 2003. The movie was also nominated in the category "Best Film", but lost out to Bent Hamer's Salmer fra kjøkkenet.[10] Hennie also won the "Best Actor" award at the Brussels European Film Festival.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Sissel Fantoft (2002-06-28). "En bygdelatino går til filmen" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  2. ^ Larsen, Vegard (2006-05-15). "Brysom type" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  3. ^ a b Hansen, Lars Ditlev (2002-05-03). "Debuterer med blod, lyst og rock'n'roll" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  4. ^ a b Per Haddal (2003-02-10). "Heldig om uheldig mann" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Trivia for Jonny Vang (2003)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  6. ^ "Jonny Vang" (in Norwegian). 2003-02-14. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  7. ^ Kurt Hansen (2003-02-14). "Bygderaringen Jonny" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  8. ^ Stratton, David (2003-02-18). "Jonny Vang". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  9. ^ Evensson, Thomas (2004-05-09). "Jonny Vang" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  10. ^ a b "Awards for Jonny Vang (2003)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 

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