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Swedish curmudgeon makes Oscar shortlist

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Swedish curmudgeon makes Oscar shortlist
'A Man Called Ove' is one of Sweden's most successful films of all time. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
11:11 CET+01:00
Swedish film 'A Man Called Ove' is one of nine movies to make the shortlist for the best foreign-language film at next year's Academy Awards.

Director Hannes Holm's film about Saab-driving curmudgeon Ove, starring Rolf Lassgård, who has his heart opened by a warm new neighbour made the cut from the original list of 85 submissions.

The bittersweet comedy will compete with fellow Scandinavian films 'Under sandet' (Denmark) and 'Kongens nei' (Norway, but starring Swedish actress Tuva Novotny) as well as feature films from Australia, Canada, Germany, Iran, Russia and Switzerland.

Only five of the nine will be presented as official nominees on January 24th. The Oscars will then be handed out on February 6th in Los Angeles.

Based on Swedish author Fredrik Backman's New York Times best-seller (Swedish title: 'En man som heter Ove'), the film reached third place on the list of most-watched films at Swedish cinemas since records began in 1963 after more than 1.7 million people went to see it.

It also won Best European Comedy at this year's European Film Awards. But despite its major 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 actress or actor to win an Academy Award since Ingrid Bergman in 1974.

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