Three Films Make Danish Foreign Oscar Shortlist

"Someone You Love"
"Someone You Love"
 

Denmark has picked the three titles that will compete to be the country's official entry for the 2015 best foreign-language film Oscar. They range in subject and style from Niels Arden Oplev's quirky 1970s period feature Speed Walking to crowd-pleasing family drama Someone You Love by Pernille Fischer Christensen to Nils Malmros' semi-autobiographical psychological drama Sorrow and Joy.

Speed Walking, which features Danish stars Pilou Asbæk (Lucy), David Dencik (The Homesman) and Sidse Babett Knudsen (TV series Borgen), is set in the mid-'70s in the period right after Denmark legalized pornography, a move that sparks social and personal upheaval for the film's characters. It's Oplev's first Scandinavian film since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2009. The Danish director also helmed Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace and the pilot to CBS' series Under the Dome.

Christensen's Someone You Love, which won the audience award at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June, follows a famous singer-songwriter (Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt) who, after years in L.A., returns to his native Denmark to record a new album. There he is confronted by his estranged daughter, who saddles him with an 11-year-old grandson he hardly knows.

Sorrow and Joy, from veteran director Malmros, recounts the partially autobiographical story of a film director and his wife who are stunned by the violent death of their young child.

TrustNordisk is handling international sales on all three titles.

The three features were picked by a committee set up by the Danish Film Institute and local film industry organizations. On Sept. 18, the same group will name the final candidate to represent Denmark in the Oscar race.

Denmark last won an Oscar with Susanne Bier's In a Better World in 2011.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will name the five nominations for best foreign-language film on Jan. 15, with the winner announced on Oscar night, Feb. 22.

Twitter: @sroxborough

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