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Finland has chosen Selma Vihunen’s Stupid Young Heart, a love story about a young couple that drifts into the neo-Nazi scene, to represent the country in next year’s Oscar race in the international film category.
Jere Ristseppa and Rosa Honkonen star as Lenni and Kiira, a mismatched high school couple. He’s a scrawny skateboard punk, and she’s the popular dance team captain. But they hook up and, when Kiira gets pregnant, Lenni begins to look for guidance, and the father figure he never had, in Janne (Ville Haapasalo), a charismatic member of a far-right extremist group. Lenni is subsequently drawn into Janne’s world.
Stupid Young Hearts premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and this year won the Crystal Bear for best film in Berlin’s Generation 14plus section. It also won a Finnish Film Award, the Jussi, for best screenplay for the script by Kirsikka Saari.
Stupid Young Heart was produced by Elli Toivoniemi and Venla Hellstedt from Tuffi Films Oy as a Finland-Sweden-Netherlands co-production.
Finland has been nominated just once for an Academy Award — for Aki Kaurismäki’s The Man Without a Past in 2002 — and did not win.
The Oscars are set to be held Feb. 9.
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