Could we have an early foreign film Oscar contender on our hands? While it seems like it will be hard to top Michael Haneke‘s Amour, and the fall film festival slate will likely reveal even more contenders, a strong possibility has landed today as we get our first domestic look at the Swedish hit Simon and the Oaks. From director Lisa Ohlin, the film won a record 13 nominations for Sweden’s Guldbagge Awards (aka their local Oscars) and has grossed over $4 million in select international markets.
Based on Marianne Fredriksson‘s novel, we’ve got the first trailer today for the WWII drama, which looks to be a crowdpleasing, emotional coming-of-age tale. At this point, it seems like a film of this ilk is almost obligatory come awards season, but hopefully this one rises above the others. Starring Bill Skarsgård (son of Stellan), Helen Sjöholm, Stefan Godicke and Jan Josef Liefers, one can see it below along with the official poster.
An epic drama spanning the years 1939 to 1952, this is the gripping story of Simon (played as the adult by Bill Skarsgaard, son of Stellan, and named by the Berlin Film Festival Jury as one of the Shooting Stars of 2012 for this performance), who grows up in a loving working-class family on the outskirts of Gothenburg but always feels out of place. Intellectually gifted, he stubbornly persists in acquiring an education normally reserved for young men of the professional classes, much to the chagrin of his parents, who fear that he will become stuck up. He finally convinces his father to send him to an upper-class grammar school, where he meets Isak, the son of a wealthy Jewish bookseller who has fled Nazi persecution in Germany. Simon is dazzled by the books, art and music he encounters in the home of Isak’s father Ruben (Jan Josef Leifers), which makes Simon long to know more about his own family background. Isak, on the other hand, draws comfort from learning to do something with his hands, helping Simon’s dad (Stefan Godicke) make boats. When Isak faces trouble at home, he is taken in by Simon’s family and the two households slowly merge, connecting in unexpected ways as war rages all over Europe. The film is based on the Swedish bestseller of the same name, written by Marianne Fredriksson. It offers a unique depiction of fate, destiny and free will and vividly portrays the situation for Jews in Sweden during World War II.
Simon and the Oaks arrives on October 12th, 2012.
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