U.S., U.K. pics and talent make strong showing

LONDON — U.S. and U.K. pics and talent make a strong showing in the main program of the Norwegian Film Festival, which unspools Aug. 20-27 in Haugesund.

Among U.S. pics selected are Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works,” Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock,” Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go,” Nora Ephron’s “Julie and Julia” and Pete Docter and Bob Peterson’s “Up.”

Pics from Blighty include Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” Jean-Marc Vallee’s “The Young Victoria,” Ken Loach’s “Looking for Eric,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Bronson” and Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank,” which won a special jury prize at Cannes.

Two other Cannes victors are included in the main program: Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon” and Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet,” the jury Grand Prize recipient on the Croisette.

The local biz is repped by Arild Ostin Ommundsen’s “Sleepless Nights,” a thriller set in the oil industry, and Sara Johnsen’s relationship drama “Upperdog.” The other Scandi pics in the main section are “Burrowing,” helmed by Sweden’s Fredrik Wenzel and Henrik Hellstrom, and Henrik Ruben Genz’s ironically titled Danish pic “Terribly Happy.”

Three Latin American pics feature in the main program: Bruno Barreto’s Brazilian hijack drama “Last Stop 174″; Sebastian Silva’s “The Maid,” a Chile-Mexico co-production; and Adrian Biniez’s “Gigante,” from Uruguay.

The lineup is rounded out by Pedro Almodovar’s “Broken Embraces” from Spain; Anne Fontaine’s “Coco Before Chanel” from France; “Polytechnique,” helmed by Canadian Denis Villeneuve; and Romanian portmanteau pic “Tales From the Golden Age,” which was directed by Cristian Mungiu, Hanno Hofer, Razvan Marculescu, Constantin Popescu and Ioana Uricaru.

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