Oscars: Norway Selects 'The King's Choice' for Foreign-Language Category

The King's Choice - Still - H - 2016
Courtesy the Norwegian Film Institute

Erik Poppe's feature, which opens domestically September 23, is set during the German invasion of Norway in 1940.

Norway has opted for a rousing historic drama set in 1940 as its nomination for the best foreign-language Oscar.

The King's Choice, directed by Erik Poppe and scripted by Jan Trygve Royneland and Harald Rosenlow Eeg, is set during the German invasion of Norway in 1940. On the afternoon of April 8, King Haakon VII was faced with the Germans’ demand for capitulation, a passive government and a Crown Prince ready for action – when “the real events that turned a brave man into the people’s King.”

At the risk of his life Haakon stood firm and after three days rejected the Nazi ultimatum, resulting in a air raid designed to kill the King.

Poppe's last film, also scripted by Eeg, was 2013's English-language A Thousand Times Goodnight, starring Juliette Binoche and Nikolai Koster-Waldau, which won the Special Jury Grand Prix in Montreal that year.

The King’s Choice tells of a dramatic event for us as a nation, but also examines a part of history that affected large parts of the world. With its engaging themes and strong cinematic qualities I am sure we have a great candidate in the race,” said Oscar Committee chairman, CEO Sindre Guldvog, of the Norwegian Film Institute.

Starring Danish actor Jesper Christensen as King Haakon VII and Norwegian actor Anders Baasmo Christiansen as Crown Prince Olav, with Tuva Novotny, Karl Markovics and Katharina Schuttler, The King’s Choice is produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B Kvae. It will be domestically released on Sept. 23 by Nordisk Film Distribusjon. International sales are being handled by Beta Cinema.