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Oscar Watch: Happy Happy is Norway's Official Entry for Best Foreign Language Film

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood September 2, 2011 at 3:39AM

The Norwegian Oscar Committee has submitted Anne Switsky's feature directorial debut, Happy, Happy, to Best Foreign-Language Feature Film, after it took the top prize at Sundance. Happy, Happy's victory at Sundance marked the first time that a Norwegian film won fest's World Cinema Grand Jury Prize.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Norwegian Oscar Committee has submitted Anne Switsky's feature directorial debut, Happy, Happy, to Best Foreign-Language Feature Film, after it took the top prize at Sundance. Happy, Happy's victory at Sundance marked the first time that a Norwegian film won fest's World Cinema Grand Jury Prize.

The film, which stars Agnes Kittelsen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens and Joachim Rafaelsen, tells of story two couples with complicated and semi-comedic relationships in neighboring homes. The meeting of the pairs causes each spouse to questions their relationships, but despite the drama, Happy, Happy manages to stay charming and true to its title. Watch the trailer below:

TOH!'s Sophia Savage confirms the quirky film will have audiences chuckling and charmed, while THR writes: "Kittelsen’s performance is the linchpin of the film -- her open, emotive face reveals as much about her thoughts as her poor impulse control." Variety's review calls it "a winning comedy that gets good-natured fun out of characters behaving quite badly," adding that "a terrific Greek-chorus device restores good humor at the darkest moments: merrily incongruous entre'act performances of traditional American spirituals and hymns by an a cappella male quartet."

Magnolia Pictures purchased the North America rights to Happy Happy and will release the film in the States on September 16.

This article is related to: Awards, Genres, Oscars, Drama, Comics, Foreign


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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.