Oscars: Denmark Selects 'The Guilty' for Foreign-Language Category

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'The Guilty'

Gustav Moller's feature debut is the story of a policeman's race against time to save a kidnapped woman, with a phone as his only tool.

Denmark has selected Gustav Moller's tense kidnap drama The Guilty as its submission in the best foreign-language film category for the Oscars.

Moller's feature debut takes place over the course of a single night at an emergency call center where dispatcher and former cop Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) takes a call from a kidnapped woman. When the line suddenly goes dead, Hom is pitched into a race against time to save the woman's life — with a phone his only tool.

The Hollywood Reporter's review called it a "cleverly constructed police procedural."

The Guilty beat out two other titles from a shortlist that included Bille August's A Fortunate Man and Hlynur Palmason's Winter Brothers.

The film, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section, was released in Denmark and France in June and has been seen by nearly 400,000 people so far. Its U.S. release, through Magnolia Pictures, is scheduled for Oct. 19. Magnolia also distributed the earlier Oscar-nominated Danish films A Royal Affair, The Hunt and A War.

The Guilty was produced by Lina Flint and Nordisk Film. World sales are being handled by TrustNordisk.

Three Danish films have won an Oscar since the country's first submission in 1956: Babette's Feast (1987), Pelle the Conqueror (1988) and In a Better World (2010).