Dan Holford’s review published on Letterboxd:
“I feel like a spectator in my own life.”
Somewhat mixed on this. Perhaps my expectations were a little high going in, I enjoyed it, but felt that there could have been more. A film that feels relatable, but also one that I found myself feeling disconnected from in certain moments. It’s almost a coming of age film only the ‘coming of age’ is turning 30, exploring the ups and downs of turning a milestone age when you can at times feel totally lost in the world and your place within it.
I will say I struggled somewhat with the pacing. It opens fast and slick, before allowing itself to move slower as it explores our leads life. The film takes place over four years of Julie’s life, and while slow in certain scenes, it almost feels like we jump away from aspects that could have been explored in more detail. Those final 30 or so minutes did start to drag just a little, and left the film with an ending that didn’t quite feel as explored as I wanted. I wasn’t keen on how the narration played into the story, feeling slightly unnecessary in the moments they chose to use it. The best moments in the film are when it chooses to go more surreal, the drug sequence and time standing still are highlights in the narrative, and stand out as something unique and meaningful.
Julie is an interesting protagonist. Someone who is likeable and relatable but at the same time makes choices that are self destructive to her life. It creates an interesting balance with her story that at times feels relatable and real, but also adds in a level of disconnect. The aspects that work the most are the scenes between Julie and Aksel, these do have a good amount of emotion connecting them together, with the ending of their side of the story being poignant and probably the most I connected with the story. There are plenty of other great moments of humour and emotion sprinkled throughout, I just think that perhaps the runtime made these moments feel spread a little thinly.
It’s all helped by Renate Reinsve being brilliant as Julie throughout. She’s got great chemistry with everyone else on screen and really brings to life this complex and confused character. You can almost feel the anxiety, insecurities and struggles of her character coming out on screen through her performance. At times funny, other times emotional, but always enjoyable to watch on screen. The same for the supporting cast. All adding nice amounts to build up the world around Julie.
Overall an enjoyable drama, with plenty of moments that I really enjoyed. I wish I had connected with the story a little more, but maybe on rewatch I will settle in some more. Solid but missing something to make it ‘great’.