Oslo, August 31st

Oslo, August 31st ★★★★

I have been avoiding this film.

There is really only one explanation to that, and that is Reprise. I didn't like it. I don't like French New wave, and I felt Reprise was a tribute to that style. When I watch a movie, I want to enter that world as if it was my own. It has to feel realistic even if it's a Sci-fi movie and not be marred by abrupt cuts or directors making personal statements through voice-overs.
So, I was afraid this would be more of the same. But the other day Oslo, August 31st fell into my hand from the budget shelf, and I'm glad it did. It turned out to be a totally different kind of film.

What also amazed me was that I believed in the characters and their behavior. The acting was more or less outstanding, especially by Anders Danielsen Lie. The dialogue, which most often is horrible element no. 1 when watching a Norwegian movie, sounded quite natural here. When Hans Olav Brenner suddenly showed up as Thomas, it turned out that even he could act.

Like I said, the story is believable. Anders feels that he has wasted so much of his life and disappointed so many that there is simply no use in starting from scratch after years in rehab. I may not agree on that, but I have no problems believing him. His (former) girlfriend doesn't return his calls, his sister refuses to meet him and his parents are not home to greet him but have instead gone on vacation. He is given a chance or two to reenter society but fails to see the significance of these events or knowing how to handle them. There is really only one thing he knows anything about.
This is strong stuff, still, beautifully told and provides afterthoughts.

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