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Denmark Submits Terribly Happy; Remake in Works

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 24, 2009 at 6:49AM

It's that time of year when one after the other, countries around the world submit their best choice for Oscar contention in the foreign film category. Only five will be nominated. (Last year 67 films were entered.) The latest submission comes from Denmark, which has chosen Henrik Rubin Genz's droll cop film noir Terribly Happy (Frytgtelig lykkelig). The international hit won six Bodil Awards out of seven nominations. Oscilloscope will release the film in North America.
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Thompson on Hollywood

It's that time of year when one after the other, countries around the world submit their best choice for Oscar contention in the foreign film category. Only five will be nominated. (Last year 67 films were entered.) The latest submission comes from Denmark, which has chosen Henrik Rubin Genz's droll cop film noir Terribly Happy (Frytgtelig lykkelig). The international hit won six Bodil Awards out of seven nominations. Oscilloscope will release the film in North America.

Also pleased are the producers behind the English-language remake, Denmark's Fine & Mellow, Carol Polakoff and Mark Johnson, who have hired WGA board member and USC professor Howard Rodman to adapt. Genz will direct the film, which is expected to cost about $20 million.

Landing the right campaigner to shepherd a film through the Oscar foreign film process is key. While there are many gifted Oscar publicists, in the foreign film category Fredell Pogodin is first among equals. In fact, she vets various films and decides which ones have the best shot at scoring a nom. (She championed last year's Oscar-winner, Japan's Departures, as well as recent campaigns for nominees After the Wedding, Pan's Labyrinth, Amores Perros, Paradise Now, and winners Tsotsi and Nowhere in Africa.)

Many are called, but few are chosen. (Film Experience tracks this year's submissions here.)

Here's the Terribly Happy trailer.

This article is related to: Awards, Genres, Independents, Oscars, Drama


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.