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Home > Ewan McGregor Uses The Force of Stellar Acting to Snag Honorary Award at the Göteborg Film Festival

Ewan McGregor Uses The Force of Stellar Acting to Snag Honorary Award at the Göteborg Film Festival

Mother Couch mid image

A Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Film Award for ‘Mother, Couch’

As reported by Deadline, Ewan McGregor received an Honorary Dragon Award for starring in Mother, Couch, while the film itself was recognized as Best Nordic Film during the 47th Göteborg Film Festival.

Background of Swedish-Danish Production

Niclas Larsson’s dramedy Mother, Couch originally premiered at 2023’s Toronto Film Festival. Derived from Mamma i soffa by renowned Swedish novelist Jerker Virdborg; this character-driven piece revolves around three siblings who must contend with their mother, who won’t rise off the couch in a furniture store. The stress of dealing with their couch potato mom’s eccentric behavior unites this estranged family.

McGregor headlines the film alongside legendary Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist) and the very talented Taylor Russell (Bones and All.) With this casting dynamo, it seems like the project would have always been a sure bet; however, initially, Larsson wasn’t so confident.

As Variety reports, Larsson recounted how his own therapist once shot down his concept for the project. This kind of goes against the whole — the therapist is not supposed to tell the patient what to do and simply talk circles around the issue until they get the gist — practice. Arguably, Larsson’s therapist was more aligned with Jason Segel’s character from the Apple TV Series Shrinking. In the show, Segel portrays a therapist having a mental breakdown and, therefore, executes the bold move of instructing his patient to divorce her husband.

Moreover, in relaying the mental health practitioner’s blunder that could have doubled as a comedy spectacle, Larsson says, “My therapist was wrong! I pitched him this idea a few years ago and he said: ‘Don’t do it.’ I am from here and this festival has meant the world to me.” He followed it up with, “Standing on this stage is a bit surreal.”

Accolades Abound

The festival jurors cited how much they admired Mother, Couch’s themes of breaking free of past discord and plugging ahead. In addition, they praised the delightful film’s intriguing humor, storyline, and innovative cinematography.

Besides ego-lifting praise, the film also won a hefty cash sum of SEK 400,000, which is equivalent to $38,000.

Mother Couch Mid Image
Ewan McGregor, Rhys Ifans, and Lara Flynn Boyle in 'Mother, Couch' (2023) | Image: Toronto Film Festival

McGregor himself got an Honorary Dragon Award. Furthermore, Göteborg’s artistic director, Jonas Holmberg, gave the honoree the utmost praise.  

“Ewan McGregor is an androgynous symbol of the Cool Britannia era, a romantic icon for the millennial generation, and a saber-swinging franchise holder in the pop-cultural center of the galaxy.”

Holmberg added, “But above all, he is an incredibly skilled artist. By mastering stylized extravagance, literary precision, and nuanced realism with the same relaxed self-evidence, Ewan McGregor has shown that he is one of the truly great actors of our time.”

McGregor wasn’t the only one who walked away shrouded in greatness. Additional accolades from the Göteborg Film Festival included Oona Airola’s Best Acting award for The Missile, with Juan Sarmiento G. taking the award for cinematography and Nikolaj Arcel’s The Promised Land taking the Audience Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film.

Using ‘The Force’ For Good

Recently, McGregor admitted he was hurt by negative reviews of his Star Wars projects. Hopefully, this lifetime achievement award will undo some of the pain of previously sharing the screen with “Jar Jar Binks” and usher him back to positive association with his masterpieces like Moulin Rouge (2001) and, of course, the cult classic Trainspotting (1996.) 

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Ewan McGregor in 'Mother, Couch' (2023) | Image: Toronto Film Festival

Niclas Larsson talks Mother, Couch (2023) Deadline

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Laura is a screenwriter and script consultant based in New York. She has a penchant for absurd comedy and psychological thrillers.
Matt Keyser is a recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton University with a bachelor's in Communications-Journalism. He is a freelance entertainment reporter with a focus on film and television. As a former senior programming coordinator for the Newport Beach Film Festival, Matt's experience with critiquing narratives and documentaries has helped showcase his passion for television and cinema through his writing.