Oscars: Sweden Selects 'A Man Called Ove' for Foreign-Language Category

A Man Called Ove Film Still
Anders Nicander

The comedy was a huge box-office hit in its native country, where it grossed more than $20 million.

Sweden is counting on the Academy's curmudgeon vote, picking Hannes Holm's grumpy comedy A Man Called Ove to represent the country for consideration in the best foreign-language category for the 2017 Oscars.

The feature, starring Rolf Lassgard as a grumbling misanthrope whose life is changed when an immigrant family moves in next door, was a huge hit in its native country, grossing more than $20 million at the box office. To compare: Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned $21 million in Sweden.

Music Box Films — which struck gold with another Swedish comedy, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, which earned nearly $1 million in its domestic run — has nabbed A Man Called Ove for North America and will release the film on Sept. 30.

The movie is adapted from the international best-seller of the same name by Fredrik Backman.

Traditionally, Sweden has been one of the most successful countries at the Oscars, with a record of 13 nominations and three wins. But it's been more than a decade since the country picked up a foreign-language film nomination, the last time being Kay Pollak's As It Is in Heaven in 2004, which didn't win. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its 2017 shortlist of foreign-language nominees on Jan. 17. The final five nominees will be announced Jan. 24.

The 2017 Oscars will be held Feb. 26.