What makes film or television be described as Hyggelig? Does it have to be warm and cosy or have fantastic visuals? Does it have to be set in Scandinavia and have a crackling fireplace in every scene? It’s up to you! The films we choose might not be to your fancy but they all certainly have a Hyggelig feeling that will get you appreciating all those small moments (and give you those warm and fuzzy feelings).
Spirited Away (2001)
Studio Ghibli is well known for creating films with great character and charming animations. Although there are so many fantastic Hayao Miyazaki movies to snuggle down to, Spirited Away came forward as one of the most snuggly choices. The narrative begins once you meet ten-year-old Chihiro and her family as they are moving house. Her father takes a wrong turn and they accidentally find a magical town which they begin to explore. Her parents find a food stall which they devour -without a second thought! Upon return, Chihiro finds that her parents have turned into pigs and she is trapped in this magical world. I guess you wouldn’t call that very Hyggelit?
However, she does settle into this new life and begins working in a bath house. She finds solace in a few new friends (a chubby little mouse and baby bird), steamed buns and working hard. The simulations only add to the cosy aspect and trying to describe them would be an injustice to the calm and spectacular animations.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
We all adore a chick-flick and whilst there’s so many to choose from, When Harry Met Sally was a strong contender (but honestly any 80’s chick flick will probably do the trick). Watching a chick-flick is all about snuggling up with some friends, cracking out a bottle of wine and enjoying the simplicity of the evening.
Harry and Sally finish college together and share the drive back to New York City, where they get into a discussion about whether women and men can have platonic relationships. They leave on unfriendly terms but rekindle a few times as they grow up, creating a deep and meaningful relationship as friends and maybe even lovers.
Shot exclusively in black and white, Nebraska follows the heart-warming story of a son and his father. Woody Grant is an old alcoholic who is found wondering the streets in Montana. His son, David, comes to collect him and learns that his father wishes to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million dollars that he thinks he has won. Sadly, the letter he received saying he has won a million dollars is a scam and David is more than aware of this.
Even though David is insistent that he has not won the money, he agrees to take his father across country to collect the money. Along the way David learns that his father is not just a selfish, alcoholic and their relationship takes a heart-warming and tearful turn. If I were to tell you the Hygge part, I would be giving away the ending -but remember it’s the little moments that matter!
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Autumn is arguably one of the most Hyggelit times of year, with all the fallen leaves and earthy tones. Fantastic Mr. Fox is exactly this! The whole film has a beautiful sepia glow and all the mischievous animals are really reminiscent of woodlands and forests. The stop-motion animated comedy is a delightful little film and Wes Anderson once again manages to create a world that we all want to get involved in.
After a close shave Fox and his wife Felicity move to a tree stump with their son, however they live dangerously close to three nasty farmers. After an encounter which means Fox gets his tail shot off by the three farmers, he encounters other animals that have also lived in fear of the farmers. From there this charming tale begins as all the animals band together to make sure they survive against the farmers.
Days of Heaven (1978)
This film is arguably one of the most beautiful films that has ever been shot (it also has a young Richard Gere in it, so there’s that reason too!) The narrative however, isn’t the most Hygge-esque story. Set in 1916, two lovers (Bill and Abby) travel to Texas Panhandle to work on the crops for a wealthy farmer. When the farmer begins to fall for Abby, Bill encourages the relationship so that Abby can inherit the farmer’s riches once he dies.
Although this romantic drama has more of a Romeo and Juliet storyline, it makes up for it with its gorgeous use of lighting. The entire film is shot during golden hour –during sunrise and sunset- and there are many moments of glorious, fiery cornfields and idyllic landscapes. Now that is Hygge!