Sweden has announced that Pernilla August's "Beyond" is their official foreign film entry this year for the Oscars. Premiering in 2010 at the Venice Critic's Week sidebar, the film is based on the book by Susanna Alakoski and tells the story of a young woman who is forced to confront her past when she receives word that her mother is dying. Ola Rapace, Noomi's ex-husband and future collaborator in the Catherine Hardwicke directed boxing biopic, co-stars in the movie which was nominated for 8 Guldbagge awards (Sweden's version of the Oscars) winning two for Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (for Outi Mäenpää). As far as we know, the film is currently without U.S. distribution though it did pop up earlier in the year at the Palm Springs and Miami film festivals, but this bit of news should get buyers interested in the pic.
Also looking for some Oscar gold, Hungary is betting their money on Bela Tarr's "The Turin Horse," though we seriously doubt the slow moving, artiest of arthouse movies will even make the shortlist. Meanwhile, Norway will go to bat with "Happy, Happy," the Anne Sewitsky directed dramedy about an eternal optimist dealing with her less than ideal husband and quirky neighbors at Christmas. Magnolia Pictures have actually picked up the rights to the film, which won the World Cinema Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It will begin a limited rollout starting on September 16th.
Even if "Beyond" isn't coming to a theater near you, here's the synopsis, trailer and some pics from the feature. And oh yeah, if you know Swedish, the whole damn film has been uploaded to YouTube as well, so you can watch that below.
A poignant story, told with sincerity and humor, about a young woman´s dramatic childhood and about her grief and the struggle to move on. Noomi Rapace plays the main character in her first feature after the success with the Millennium trilogy and she plays opposite her husband, actor Ola Rapace. Award winning actress Pernilla August makes her directorial debut with her take on the bestselling novel Svinalängorna by Susanna Alakoski. In other main roles we see rising star Tehilla Blad and the Finnish acclaimed actors, Ville Virtanen and Outi Mäenpää. A morning just before Christmas, Leena, 34, receives a phone call from a hospital in her childhood hometown telling her that her mother is dying. This news takes her on a journey to face her mother for the first time in her adult life. Leena has fought all her life to let go of her grief over her lost and dark childhood. She is now forced to deal with her past to be able to move on.