Out Stealing Horses is Norway’s Oscar nominee

REEL NEWS from the Norwegian Film Institute (nfi.no)

Out Stealing Horses

Photo courtesy of NFI.no
The Norwegian Oscar committee hopes the Academy of Motion Pictures will agree that Out Stealing Horses is the best foreign-language film of 2019.

Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s feature, Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester) will be Norway’s bid for the Oscar nomination as Best Foreign Language film. The Norwegian Oscar Committee announced its choice on Sept. 3 from a short list of candidates including Dag Johan Haugerud’s Beware of Children and Eirik Svensson’s Harajuku.

The committee’s statement:

“Hans Petter Moland impresses in his ambitious and fearless use of filmatic instruments, and in this way creates a rare emotional depth in his dissemination of a unique story. The film’s sensual inner tranquility reverberates in very beautiful scenery. A fine-tuned ensemble of actors was needed to carry the film’s themes and seamless shifts between different time periods. Based on the novel by Per Petterson, the cinematography, sound, and editing manage to capture the poetry of the novel a way that strikes spectators with physical strength, and which remains even after the film ends.

“The jury believes that the strong and original story, along with high cinematic qualities, both in front and behind the camera, will contribute to Out Stealing Horses having a good chance in the competition to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.”

About the film

It’s November 1999 and 67-year-old Trond lives in newfound solitude, looking forward to spending New Year’s Eve 2000 alone. As winter arrives, he discovers he has a neighbor, a man Trond knew back in 1948, the summer he turned 15 and the summer Trond’s father prepared him to carry the burden of his forthcoming betrayal and disappearance. That was also the summer Trond grew up and smelled the scent of a woman he longed for—the same woman Trond’s father was preparing to spend his life with.

The film stars Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, who may be best known in the United States for his roles in Marvel’s Thor movies and the recent miniseries Chernobyl.

Out Stealing Horses won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for its cinematography at the Berlinale 2019, before its Norwegian premiere on March 8, 2019.

Director Hans Petter Moland adapted the screenplay from Per Petterson’s novel Out Stealing Horses (which was reviewed by Christine Foster Meloni in The Norwegian American on July 29, 2016: www.norwegianamerican.com/arts/petterson-pleases). The film was produced by Turid Øversveen and Håkon Øverås for 4 ½ Fiksjon.

The Oscar-contending film is produced with grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.

This article originally appeared in the September 20, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

Avatar photo

Christine Foster Meloni

Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She values her Norwegian heritage.