"It has the muscle to go the whole way," said Danish Film Institute Managing Director Henrik Bo Nielsen, as Danish director Nikolaj Arcel's A Royal Affair was Friday (September 21) named Denmark's official candidate for the 2013 Academy Award as Best Foreign-Language Feature.
"We would have liked to submit more than one film from the shortlist – all three pre-selections were great bidders for the nomination," added the chairman of the Danish Oscar Committee, which preferred Arcel to Susanne Bier's romantic comedy Love Is All You Need and Bille August's drama Marie Krøyer.
Already nominated for the Nordic Council's Film Prize - the largest in Scandinavia, which comes with a €47,000 cheque for the writer, director and producer - A Royal Affair was launched at this year's Berlinale, where it won two Silver Bears – Best Original Screenplay (Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg), Best Actor (Mikkel Bo Følgsgaard).
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander and Følsgaard, the 18th century love affair between German doctor Johann Friedrich Struensee, the physician-in-ordinary to Denmark's schizophrenic King Christian VII and Queen Caroline Mathilda, the historical drama went straight to the top of the local charts, and has now exceeded 527,000 admissions (and US$ 6 million) in Denmark.
Licensed to more than 78 territories by Denmark's TrustNordisk, the Louise Vesth, Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Meta Louise Foldager production for Zentropa Entertainments has become the biggest Danish-language release so far in the UK (grossing more than US$580,000), taking US$1.6 million in Australia. Next it will open in the US on November 9, for Magnolia.
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