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Sweden, the award-winningest country.

Sweden, the award-winningest country. (photo)

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If you’re tired of reading about all the awards being bestowed on “Up In The Air,” “The Hurt Locker” and all, well, there are alternatives.

For example: we could celebrate the sheer multiplicity of awards for their own sake, like the Swedish Film Institute, who today invited “local producers and filmmakers” to show up and celebrate a new domestic record: 145 international awards for 56 shorts, documentaries and features. “Up by 62 wins from 2008,” indeed.

I admire the bowling-score approach taken here: at least it’s honest about what’s at stake. But I’ve never actually heard of the two score-leaders: “Patrick 1,5” (12 awards) and “The Girl” (ten awards, linked-to trailer NSFW), which were apparently bigger awards-getters than “Let The Right One In.”

“Patrick 1,5” is a wacky gay comedy of the “Heather has two daddies” variety. In Dennis Harvey’s quietly unenthused Variety review, we learn that it “delivers a formulaic-sounding conceit with enough unpredictability and downplayed sentiment to earn the heartwarming emotions that might too easily have arrived on cue.” The premise: Goran and Sven accidentally adopt a surly homophobic teenager instead of the cute infant they were expecting. (15 instead of 1.5 years, lulz.) The awards and festival appearances came strictly, it would appear, from the easier-pleased gay and lesbian film circuit. Color me politely disinterested (American release is set for next year, for those who are).

12212009_thegirl.jpg“The Girl” seems more promising, for its lyrical trailer, strong reviews and the endorsement of David Byrne, whose taste in film is generally as immaculate as in music. As part of the jury at the Estoril Film Festival, he helped split the second prize between “The Girl” and “Eastern Plays.” As Byrne says, “This is a beautifully made and shot film about a young girl in a rural house who is left in the care of a young aunt while her parents go on a good works trip to Africa. Soon enough, the young aunt abandons the girl as well — and she has to fend for herself, which isn’t completely bad, as most of the adults seem like jerks.” So like “Tideland,” but nicer?

Cineuropa’s write-up notes that “Many festival programmers who have been viewing Nordic films over the last couple of years agree that within Scandinavia, it is no longer Denmark but Sweden that produces the most innovative films.” Who knew there was a cinematic rivalry between the two nations? I’m reminded of the insanely xenophobic Swedish Dr. Helmer (Ernst-Hugo Järegård) in “The Kingdom,” who constantly delivers monologues on the subjects of how much he despises the Danes. “Here, Denmark. Shat out of chalk and water. There, Sweden. Hewn out of granite. Danish scum. Danish scum!”

[Photos: “Patrik 1,5,” Here Films, 2008; “The Girl,” Acne Film, 2009]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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