Swedish star on Oscars list for hit transgender movie

Alicia Vikander, 27, has been nominated for an Oscar for her role in transgender film 'The Danish Girl', alongside Eddie Redmayne.

Swedish star on Oscars list for hit transgender movie
Alicia Vikander with her co-star Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl'. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
The Swedish starlet, who has also been in Hollywood movies including 'Anna Karenina' and the Julian Assange biopic 'The Fifth Estate' has been shortlisted in the 'Best Supporting Actress' category.
Vikander appears in 'The Danish Girl' as the wife of Nordic artist Lili Elbe, played by Eddie Redmayne, who undergoes one of the world's first sex changes. He British co-star has also been nominated in the 'Best Actor' category, having won the award last year for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory of Everything'.
The Swede will compete against US actress Rooney Mara, nominated for her role in 'Carol' and well known in Sweden for her depiction of Lisbeth Salander in the American adaptations of the Swedish Millennium series, penned by Stieg Larsson.
Rachel McAdams and Jennifer Jason Leigh have also made the shortlist as well as the UK's Kate Winslet.
The team behind the Swedish movie 'The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared' has additionally been nominated in the 'Best Makeup and Hairstyling' category. The film, produced in 2013 but released globally last year, saw 51-year-old Robert Gustafsson play retirement home escapee Allan Karlsson.


Sweden picks best-seller adaptation for Oscars

The Swedish Film Institute has revealed that A Man Called Ove by director Hannes Holm will be its nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.

Sweden picks best-seller adaptation for Oscars
Rolf Lassgård as the title character in A Man Called Ove. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

An adaptation of Swedish author Fredrik Backman's New York Times best-seller, the film stars Rolf Lassgård as a stereotypical Saab-driving, cranky curmudgeon who has his heart unexpectedly opened by a warm new neighbour.

“I have an underdog personality so I chose to lie very low. I was really happy when I found out,” director Holm said at a press conference after the nomination for his film was revealed.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, Sweden’s national film body called the movie “one of the biggest Swedish cinema successes ever”, citing over 1.7 million admissions to see it domestically.

Released in December 2015, by March 2016 A Man Called Ove had already reached third place on the list of most-watched films at Swedish cinemas since records began in 1963.

Despite its major domestic success, claiming an Oscar will be a tough task. A Swedish film has not won in the Best Foreign Language Film category since Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander took the Oscar back in 1983.

Swedish cinema icon Bergman was also behind the country’s only other previous wins in the category, with The Virgin Spring coming out on top in 1960, and Through a Glass Darkly winning in 1961.

A more positive omen can be found in Sweden's more recent success in other categories however. Last year Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Danish Girl – the first Swedish performer to win an Academy Award since Ingrid Bergman in 1974. 

The Academy Awards jury will announce the final five-film shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film prize on January 24th, before the gala itself is held on February 26th.

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