Monday, April 2, 2012

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)
Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Genre: Drama
Director: Joachim Trier
Starring: Anders Danielsen Lie
Language: Norwegian
Duration: 95 min.
Rating: 7.9  

One day in the life of Anders, a young recovering drug addict, who takes a brief leave from his treatment center to interview for a job and catch up with old friends in Oslo.

Oslo, 31. August is a film directed by Joachim Trier, based on the 1931 novel Le feu follet by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle. It premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Following in the large footsteps of Louis Malle, who first adapted the novel in 1963's masterful The Fire Within. Trier puts a modern spin on this haunting existential story and relocates it from the bustling City of Light to Norway's cold capital; and though this adaptation doesn't quite match up to the searing intensity of the former, he does succeed in carving out a unique and delicate telling.

We follow a day in the life of Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie), a gloomy 34 year-old drug addict with a day pass from his rehab center. He heads to the city, visits some old friends, attends a job interview, and tries to connect with an old flame now living in New York; all the while desperately searching for a reason to go on living.

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Danielsen Lie delivers a brilliant natural performance, one that keeps us entirely captivated as he proceeds from one location to the next, even though his character is the type of guy that most of us wouldn't want to spend nine minutes with, let alone ninety.

Trier's graceful camera constantly shadows his central character with intimate closeups, which also manages to give us a wonderful tour of Oslo along the way, and its natural beauty perfectly accompanies the bleak character study almost making me forget about comparisons to the original. He also displays a talent for injecting some incredible light and lively moments into the austere narrative that ultimately make Anders' unshakeable loneliness all the more devastating.

A wonderfully acted and directed, tender and quiet portrait of a tortured soul. Oslo, 31. August is not an easy watch, but it is an impressive adaptation that stands squarely on its own. My only disappointment is the soundtrack lacks anything remotely as heart-rending as Erik Satie's Gymnopédies.

Bonjour Tristesse

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Oslo, 31. August (2011)


Jessica said...

I haven't seen Malle's adaptation, but I've seen this one and it was way up on my top list of 2011. . As you say, it's not an easy watch, but it's very captivating and Danielsen Lie is brilliant.

FrontRoomCinema said...

Sweet. I look forward to this one!

Where you been matey? Missed ya!!

365 moviesandsongs365 said...

You finally managed to see it! Your review makes me want to check out Le feu follet that you gave an 8.8.
I disagree about the soundtrack , I liked the use of A-ha,etc. From soundtrack, I added  Dying Hipster  - Torgny, to my just published top 100 songs of 2011 .

Mette said...

I like Norway... but I think I've never seen a Norwegian film. Swedish ones are much more popular. Thanks for recommending.

d_4 said...

Yeah, I know when I'll be in the mood for this one. An extra thought must go into the soundtrack while I decide.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Jessica. I also recommend Dealer, a Hungarian film by Benedek Fliegauf. It's a similarily structured film that folows 24 hours in the life of a drug dealer.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

A sudden extra work load, and a bad PC meltdown that I finally fixed on the weekend. As a result I didn't have time to watch or review anything.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I enjoyed some of the tracks, it was nice to hear some Daft Punk and Desire 's Under Your Spell again. But nothing struck as strong an emotional chord for me as much as the music from Le Feu Follet did.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

They've had some very strong films lately that you should check out. This one, Headhunters, Happy Happy, and Turn me on, Goddammit

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It does still have a good soundtrack, I think it's only a consideration if you've already seen Malle's version first.

Lisa Thatcher said...

Great review - gee its great to have you back!  This film is the kind of thing i love - and our review just makes me want to see it all the more. Another for the list.  Thanks for highlighting the soundtrack.  Its interesting to see the various responses. 

Diana Elena Taranu said...

This sounds amazing, great review! I am behind with my foreign movies challenge, so I will surely try to find this movie and see it soon- it looks like my type of movie (character driven)! Thank you!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Lisa, it's good to be back. I think this is one you will enjoy, I look forward to reading your take on it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

 Thanks Diana. This would be an excellent choice to include in your challenge. I hope you get a chance to see it.

ND! Design said...

Great review!  Being Norwegian I just have to come with another film recommendation: Nord also an (surprisingly) excellent Tv-series called"Koselig med Peis"

Keep up the good work :)!

Squasher88 said...

Just finished watching this. This film is exquisite.

Cruiseryan said...

Also from Norway and worth checking out are "King of Devil's Island" and "Reprise". Reprise is also directed by Trier.

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