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The King's Choice

Kongens nei
The King's Choice
Norwegian with English subtitles
Norway | Historical Drama | 2016 | 130'
Director: Erik Poppe
Cast: Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics

Based on extraordinary true events, and one of the eight shortlisted films for the 2017 Best Foreign Language Academy Award, Erik Poppe’s superbly-realised box office hit is an absorbing story of morality and honour set during a pivotal moment in World War II, when an unprepared Norway was invaded by German forces and their monarch presented with a terrible ultimatum.

With the time for mediation between Norway’s passive government and the Nazi’s envoy (Karl Markovics) fast running out, and an attempted coup by collaborator Vidkun Quisling underway, King Haakon (Jesper Christensen, in a towering performance) is faced with a momentous choice: should he recognise Quisling as Prime Minister to prevent bloodshed, or abdicate in the hope of inspiring civilian and military resistance, even with the loss of life that may entail?

With spectacular production design on a scale that rivals the seminal war dramas of Spielberg and Boorman, The King’s Choice is a commanding, full-blooded epic. Brilliantly depicting the machinations, principles and personal fallout of conflict, it’s a gripping and resonant account of history at a turning point, from a previously untold perspective.

Extraordinarily riveting, touching and effective. The best film of the year.
Cinema Scandinavia
2017 Academy Awards
Berlin International Film Festival 2017