As expected, Susanne Bier's acclaimed Dogme hit Open Hearts (Elsker Dig For Evigt) has been chosen as the Danish candidate for the Academy Awards' best foreign language film Oscar.
The film received rave reviews on its domestic release and has scooped an impressive 450.000 admissions in eight weeks, never leaving the box-office chart's top three.
Produced by Vibeke Windeloew (Dancer In The Dark) for prolific Zentropa and distributed by major Nordisk Film, the film's local success stems from the strong reputations of its director and lead actors, Mads Mikkelsen, Paprika Steen, Nikolai Lie Kaas, as well as the highly favorable reviews.
Open Hearts tells the story of a young couple who plan to marry, when a car accident leaves him paralysed. The driver of the car convinces her doctor husband to help the devastated girl, but he ends up falling in love with her, and soon all involved have their lives turned upside down.
"There's not a cinemagoing adult in the world who wouldn't relate to the passions and dilemmas on show," Screen International's Mike Goodridge wrote in his review of the film. "Eliciting painfully true insights into human relationships from her tragic scenario and her extraordinary actors, the director reaches dramatic heights usually only scaled by rare masters like Mike Leigh or fellow countryman Lars Von Trier."
Open Hearts has also been a hot item on the festival circuits with screenings in Toronto and San Sebastian. It has also been sold by Trust Film Sales to a number of territories including the US (Newmarket), Germany (Arsenal Filmverleigh), Spain (Golem), UK and Australia (Icon Film Distribution).
Despite its more serious tone Open Hearts has so far performed even better than Lone Scherfig's box-office Dogme darling Italian For Beginners, which ended up at a record 870.000 admissions only 20.000 ahead of Susanne Bier's The One And Only from 1999.
Though the Danish Dogme films have won acclaim and awards across the world, none of them has yet however received an Oscar nomination. Past Dogme Oscar hopefuls include Lone Scherfig's Italian For Beginners, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's Mifune and Thomas Vinterberg's Festen (The Celebration).