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TORONTO – The Hypnotist, a crime thriller by three-time Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstrom, is Sweden’s official entry for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film, an adaptation of the best-seller by Lars Kepler, is the first Swedish-language film from Hallstrom – the director of The Cider House Rules, Chocolat and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?– in 25 years. It is also Hallstrom’s first-ever thriller.
Hallstrom, however, is no stranger to the Oscars. His Swedish-language feature My Life As A Dog (1988) received Oscar nominations in the Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay categories and Hallstrom picked up a second Best Director nomination in 1999 for The Cider House Rules.
The Hypnotist stars Mikael Persbrandt (In A Better World) as a psychologist who is brought in by the police to help find a brutal killer. To do so, he must hypnotize the killer’s only surviving victim, something he swore to never do again. Lena Olin plays his wife and Finnish actor Tobias Zilliacus also stars as police detective inspector Joona Linna.
Sweden’s Svensk Filmindustri is handling worldwide sales to The Hypnotist and has pre-sold the film to more than 30 territories worldwide. The Hypnotist is the first in a planned series of eight Joona Linna novels from Lars Kepler – a pseudonym for Swedish husband and wife authors Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Producers Svensk and Sonet Film have optioned all eight books in the series for feature adaptations with Zilliacus signed on to play detective Linna in all eight films.
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