Oslo, August 31 | Chicago Reader

Oslo, August 31

92 minutes

Norwegian writer-director Joachim Trier has a genuine feel for the inexplicable despair of the young and gifted: his feature debut, Reprise, showed a talented novelist (Anders Danielson Lie) buckling under the pressure of his own success, and in this second feature (2011) a recovering addict (Lie again) contemplates suicide despite his obvious sensitivity and insight. He’s surrounded by people who want to help—an old girlfriend who still cares, an old drug buddy who’s become a responsible husband and father—but no one can crack his iron conviction that life holds nothing for him. The movie transpires mostly in quiet, engrossing dialogue scenes, and its austere style shares a good deal in common with the protagonist, who seems both opaque and completely exposed. In Norwegian with subtitles.

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