Norway puts forward The King’s Choice for the Oscar nominations
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Erik Poppe’s historical epic, which has not yet been released in Norway, will be the Norwegian candidate for the nomination for Best Foreign-language Film
Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s The King’s Choice [+see also:
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile], which Nordisk Film Distribusjon will release domestically on 23 September, was yesterday (8 September) named Norway’s official candidate for the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-language Film 2017.
Poppe’s historical epic was shortlisted for the nominations run together with Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Pyromaniac [+see also:
interview: Erik Skjoldbjærg
film profile] and Rune Denstad Langlo’s Welcome to Norway! [+see also:
interview: Rune Denstad Langlo
film profile], but the Norwegian Oscar Committee, headed by Sindre Guldvog, managing director of the Norwegian Film Institute, voted for Poppe’s fifth feature.
“The King’s Choice is the story of a dramatic event for us as a nation, but it also examines a part of history that affected large parts of the world. With its engaging themes and strong cinematic qualities, I am sure we have a great candidate in the race,” Guldvog explained.
Starring Danish actor Jesper Christensen as King Haakon VII and Norway’s Anders Baasmo Christiansen as Crown Prince Olav, with Tuva Novotny, Karl Markovics and Katharina Schuttler, The King’s Choice follows Nazi Germany’s invasion of Norway in 1940. On the afternoon of 8 April 1940, the king was faced with the Germans’ demand for capitulation, a passive government and a Crown Prince ready for action, during three days when, according to history, “real events turned a brave man into the people’s king”.
He refused, despite the fact that it could have cost the lives of himself, his family and many innocent Norwegians. The German response was a naval attack on the Oscarsborg Fortress, which the fortress repelled, sinking the German heavy cruiser Blücher; 830 German soldiers were killed.
The King’s Choice was produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B Kvae for Paradox. Poppe most recently directed the award-winning English-language movie A Thousand Times Goodnight [+see also:
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile] (2013), starring Juliette Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, which received the Special Jury Grand Prix at Montreal, among other accolades.
Previous Norwegian Oscar nominations for Best Foreign-language Film have been racked up by Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s Kon-Tiki [+see also:
film profile] (2013), Petter Næss’ Elling [+see also:
film profile] (2001), Berit Nesheim’s The Other Side of Sunday (1996), Nils Gaup’s Pathfinder (1987) and Arne Skouen’s Nine Lives (1957).