Animated family film Quest for a Heartwon the hearts of Finnish movie-goers over the weekend, becoming "the best December opening for a Finnish family film ever," according to Variety. Quest for a Heart has an impressive official site, where you can watch the trailer; it looks like it's pitched to a very young audience, but it's good to see detailed, old school 2-D animation still being practiced. An international, English-language version has also been prepared.

While Hollywood fare dominates much of the European box office, Italians prefer homegrown comedies, according to another article in Variety, with good returns noted for Natale in Crociera (AKA Christmas on a Cruise Ship), the latest in an annual series of madcap holiday adventures directed by Neri Parenti, and Leonardo Pieraccioni'sA Very Beautiful Wife. Both outperformed the local opening of The Golden Compass, which, in general, has performed much better overseas than in the US.

The producers of "hi-tech sequel" Irony of Fate - Continuation are banking on Russian audiences flocking to see one of the 1,018 prints that have been struck for a record breaking opening this coming Friday. Variety says: "The original [1975] film, which screens every New Year's eve on channels across Russia and is held in the same kind of tear-jerking nostalgic regard as Frank Capra's 1946 It's A Wonderful Life is in America, is a gentle love story set in wintertime Leningrad." The sequel, directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted), features computer imaging, making it look like the original characters age over time into the present day.

We don't have any word on whether any of these films will receive US distribution, but they all sound entertaining and may be worth seeking out down the line.