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Oslo, August 31st (4 stars)

Film of visual beauty full of melancholy, intimacy and humanity

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Oslo, August 31st

(15) 95min

Films set over a single 24-hour period are seldom as naturalistic and affecting as this poignant drama from Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier. Less intensely stylish than his 2006 debut Reprise, this is a very good, slow-paced film, full of melancholy and humanity. The story follows Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie), a 34-year old approaching the end of a period in a drug rehabilitation centre, as he spends an away-day meeting with friends and relatives, going to a job interview and attempting to reconnect with the world. But as the day progresses, Anders struggles to remain hopeful and resist temptation.

Using Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel La Feu Follet as a foundation, Trier and co-writer Eskil Vogt take this specific scenario and, through excellent, insightful writing, explore universal concerns: how time affects friendships, how getting older changes everything and how sometimes, being a grown-up is no fun at all. It’s a film that is at times painfully honest about the cost of one’s life choices, but the inherent sadness is tempered by the film’s visual beauty (shot by Jakob Ihre) and Trier’s ability to create authentically intimate moments between his characters.

GFT, Glasgow from Fri 18–Thu 24 Nov.

Oslo, August 31st

  • 4 stars
  • 2011
  • Norway
  • 95 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Joachim Trier
  • Written by: Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt
  • Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie
  • UK release: 4 November 2011

Anders (Lie) is about to leave drug rehab, and over the course of 24 hours he struggles against temptation. Films set in a single day are seldom as affecting as this one, but the painful honesty is tempered by the visual beauty and Trier's ability to create authentically intimate moments.

Elsewhere on the web

Oslo, 31. August Trailer

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