Oslo, August 31st

Dir. Joachim Trier

Norway 2011 | Colour | 96mins | Drama

Cast: Anders Danielsen, Lie Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Petter Width, Kristiansen

Stylish and contemplative tale of a young man's wistful return to the city he loves.

Recovering drug addict Anders has almost completed his rehabilitation programme.  As part of his treatment he's given a day's leave from the countryside rehab centre to attend a job interview in his native Oslo.  Smart, handsome and witty, Anders has great promise but also an almost inevitable melancholy and worldweariness about him.  Poignantly setting the tone for the piece, Anders begins his day with an aborted suicide attempt, and it is no surprise that he later deliberately flunks the job interview.  Anders, it seems, is more interested in using his day to revisit, reassess and try to reconnect with the city and people he loves.  His journey through the sights and sounds of Oslo is at once tense and compelling, but is handled with a great warmth and deceptive lightness of touch by director Joachim Trier.  Inspired by the Pierre Drieu La Rochelle novel Le feu follet, Oslo, August 31st is imbued with a New Wave sensibility in both style and approach.  There is a refreshing freedom in actor Anders Danielsen Lie's intense yet seemingly effortless performance, which is underscored by Trier's stunning direction and sound design. - Sarah Lutton

Available on: DVD

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