High hopes for Kissed By Winter
by Annika Pham
30/09/2005 - The praised directorial debut of Sara Johnsen, Kissed By Winter [trailer] (Vinterkyss) is the Norwegian candidate for this year’s Oscars nominations in the Best foreign language category. According to the Norwegian Film Institute who announced its choice yesterday, the film "has all the qualities a national Oscar candidate should have. It is fascinating, exciting, profound, beautiful, and the story engage and provoke. Photo, editing, sound and music provide strength to the dramaturgy of the film, and the performances are exceptional."
Produced by the new Norwegian production outfit Friland Film headed by Christian Fredrik Martin and Asle Vatn, the film has already won several international awards since its world premiere in Gothenburg last January. Swedish-born Annika Hallin was voted Best actress three times in Haugesund, at the European Film Festival in Brussels and at the local Norwegian Oscars or Amanda Awards, and the film itself was elected Best Nordic Feature Debut in Haugesund and at the Amanda Awards.
Described by the director as "a poetic thriller where the detective appears to be more mysterious than the case she investigates" the film is set during the winter in a small village in Eastern Norway where a young man is found dead, presumably hit by a snow plough. However the local doctor Victoria (Annika Hallin) is convinced that he has been the victim of a crime before the accident. As she gets entangled in the investigation of the dead man and involved in a love affair with the prime suspect, Kai (Kristoffer Joner), events from her own past are whirled up to the surface.
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Previous Norwegian Oscar nominees include Arne Skouen’s Ni Liv (1957), Nils Gaup’s Pathfinder (1987) and Petter Næss’ Elling [trailer] (2002). The five candidates selected to run for Best Foreign language film at the Oscars 2006 will be announced on January 31 and the Academy Awards ceremony will take place in Hollywood on March 5, 2006.