The King’s Choice was the audiences’, too
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Erik Poppe’s new feature recorded this year’s best opening – and the fifth best ever for a Norwegian film
Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s historical epic The King’s Choice [+see also:
film profile] reached 118,000 admissions during its opening weekend, adding 8,000 for previews and 10,000 at an open-air screening in Oslo’s Castle Park – the best film opening in Norway this year, and the fifth best ever for a Norwegian film.
Norway’s official candidate for the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-language Film (read the news), The King’s Choice stars Danish actor Jesper Christensen, Norwegian actor Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Swedish actress Tuva Novotny in the depiction of Nazi Germany’s 1940 invasion of Norway. On 8 April, King Haakon VII received a German “surrender or die” ultimatum, and the subsequent events turned a brave man into the people’s king.
“With this start in the theatres, it is already in the company of some of the greatest Norwegian films, and it will have a long life there and reach a wide audience,” said Morten Christoffersen, managing director of Nordisk Film Distribusjon, which handled the release. Scripted by Norwegian writers Jan Trygve Røyneland and Harald Rosenløw Eeg, the film was produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B Kvae, for Paradox, with Germany’s Beta Cinema handling the international sales.
Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s bet for the autumn season, the €7.6 million, eight-episode drama Nobel, was launched on Sunday 25 September, attracting approximately 800,000 viewers. “Finally, a Norwegian series that deserves to be discussed during lunch,” wrote Norway’s Dagbladet about the Håkon Briseid production (for Monster Scripted), which international buyers have likened to Homeland. Shot in Norway, the Czech Republic and Morocco, and directed by Per Olav Sørensen (2015’s The Heavy Water War), Nobel stars Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie as an army lieutenant in the Norwegian Special Forces. He returns from the war in Afghanistan to receive an unusual order from a superior, which gets him involved in a political intrigue. His wife is played by Tuva Novotny.