The five Nordic films selected for the foreign-language Oscar

Each year, countries around the world select the film they want to be in the running for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film. After much deliberation, meetings, and shortlists, the five Nordic films that will be in the running have been confirmed. Here they are:

Denmark: The Guilty

Finland: Euthanizer

Iceland: Woman at War

Norway: What Will People Say

Sweden: Border

While all strong films, they are perhaps not the strongest when it comes to competing at the Academy Awards. After all, this year we had Ruben Ostlund’s The Square nominated, and that comes from a very established director. It also helps that The Square won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Border is perhaps the film with the best chance of moving forward, again thanks to its Cannes success (it won the Un Certain Regard this year). Benedikt Erlingsson is a popular choice for Iceland, especially considering his film Of Horses and Men was also Iceland’s Oscar choice. While The Guilty and What Will People Say are both amazing movies, I just don’t see them moving forward. 

Euthanizer is about a man who euthanises animals as a side-job but has a run-in with a white supremacist. 

Lets all give Finland extra attention for choosing Euthanizer as its Oscar film. For those of you who have seen it, you know what I’m saying. The film is so unlikely to be shortlisted, but it’s just so amazing. I love that it will forever be “Finland’s entry for the Academy Awards 2019”. If you haven’t seen it, go and see it. 

The nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced January 22, and the official ceremony will take place February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.