LASSE HALLSTROM (Director) is one of the world's most renowned directors. He is best known to audiences as the filmmaker behind such poignant but resolutely unsentimental films as MY LIFE AS A DOG, WHATS EATING GILBERT GRAPE and THE CIDER HOUSE RULES. Most recently, Hallstrom directed THE HYPNOTIST (2012), a thriller selected as Sweden's entry for Best Foreign Language Film consideration at the Academy Awards. The previous year, he directed SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. This adaptation of a Paul Torday novel was written by SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and netted more than $34 million at the global box office.
In 2000 Hallstrom received an Oscar nomination (Best Director) for THE CIDER HOUSE RULES(1999), his cinematic interpretation of the John Irving novel. Featuring a script by Irving, this heartfelt drama starred Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron and Michael Caine. Irving (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Caine (Best Supporting Actor) won Academy Awards for their work on the film.
Hallstrom also directed DEAR JOHN (2010), based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks. Starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, the romantic drama knocked off AVATAR after seven weekends in first place with an opening weekend of $30.4 million. It went on to gross almost $115 million worldwide.
The son of an amateur filmmaker, Hallstrom was born in Stockholm. He began his filmmaking career in high school when, with the assistance of friends, he made a short about schoolmates who had formed a band.
Hallstrom made his feature debut in 1975 with the romantic drama EN KILLE OCH EN TJEJ (A GUY AND A GAL). Two years later he focused his lens on one of Sweden's most famous exports in ABBA: THE MOVIE. In fact Hallstrom shot the vast majority of the Swedish super-group's music videos.
He subsequently helmed a number of romantic comedies but it was not until MITT LIV SOND HUND (MY LIFE AS A DOG) in 1985 that Hallstrom experienced his international breakthrough. A bona fide art-house hit, MY LIFE AS A DOG is a coming-of-age story about a young boy sent to live with relatives when his terminally ill mother can no longer care for him. The film earned a score of international honors including Independent Spirit and Golden Globe awards for Best Foreign Film as well as a New York Film Critics Circle award. Hallstrom was honored with Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
In 1991 Hallstrom came to the U.S. and made his stateside debut with ONCE AROUND. A romantic comedy starring Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss, it enjoyed a favorable reception. Two years later the director's international reputation was further solidified with WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE. This adaptation of a Peter Hedges novel featured strong performances by Juliette Lewis and Johnny Depp (in the title role). A then-unknown Leonardo DiCaprio earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of Gilbert's mentally handicapped younger brother, Arnie. Hallstrom then directed the romantic dramedy SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT (1995), starring Dennis Quaid and Julia Roberts.
In 2000 Hallstrom scored yet another art-house hit with CHOCOLAT, the tale of a small-town candy maker who shakes up her community by staying open on Sundays. Starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, this romantic drama earned numerous honors including five Oscar nominations and four Golden Globe nominations.
Hallstrom directed THE SHIPPING NEWS in 2001, based on the book by Annie Proulx. Starring Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore and Judi Dench, the film earned good critical notices and healthy returns on the art-house circuit. In 2005 Hallstrom directed AN UNFINISHED LIFE (2005), starring Jennifer Lopez and Robert Redford, and CASANOVA (2005), starring the late Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller.
Hallstrom and his wife, Oscar-nominated actress Lena Olin, reside in Bedford, New York.
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