Swedish Hollywood director Lasse Hallström's The Hypnotist – his first ever thriller, and his first production in his native country since 1987 – was yesterday (September 6) named Sweden's official candidate for the Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Feature.
The Mikael Persbrandt, Lena Olin and Tobias Zillacus-starrer will unspool in competition at the 60th San Sebastian International Film Festival (September 21-29), before it will be launched domestically on September 28 by Svensk Filmindustri AB.
Börje Hansson, Peter Possne and Bertil Ohlsson produced The Hypnotist for Svensk Filmindustri-Sonet Film AB as the first of eight thrillers by Swedish author Lars Kepler about the investigations of his Finnish-Swedish detective inspector Joona Linna.
A whole family has been brutally massacred in suburban Stockholm - the only survivor is the 15-year-old son, who is in a critical condition and unfit for regular interrogation. Linna (Zillacus) calls in a retired hypnotist (Persbrandt) to work with him.
Hallström has been Oscar-nominated for two films before – in 1988 My Life as a Dog was considered for Best Director and Best Writing (screenplay based on material from another medium), and in 1999 The Cider House Rules garnered him another Best Director nomination.
Three Swedish films have so far won an Oscar, including Fanny and Alexander (1983), Through a Glass Darkly (1961) and The Virgin Spring (1960), all directed by Ingmar Bergman, who was nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Feature eight times. A total of 14 Swedish features have been among the five front-runners for the trophy.
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