Oskar and Josefine (released in Russia as Thorsen's Medallion) is a surprisingly likable European family/fantasy film I randomly picked up in a videostore. Much later I found that it's a sort of sequel to a very popular and successful Danish TV series "Jesus and Josefine" but of course I've never heard of it before. In short words it's a Christian related story of a girl Josefine who with her friend Oskar come to the past and meet Jesus who at that time is just a young boy. Some reckless acts lead to ultimate changes in future and Josefine must try to fix everything before it will be too late.
After a rather short introduction of the above mentioned past events we meet our heroes Oskar and Josefine at the railway station in Copenhagen. Now the friends are on vacations and they are going to countryside to spend summer at Oskar grandparents' farm. The place looked quite and beautiful until Josefine met Thorsen, the old man who gave her time machine and whom she eventually has defeated in original TV series. This time he is full of remorse and persuaded Josefine to take another gift, a magic medallion which can bring her through the time and back home but only for three times. Accidentally Oskar and Josefine come to the past and meet Oskar's ancestors who lived at the same farm 400 years ago. However one act of kindness from modern girl creates a chain of unexpected events that changed course of the past and even threatens Oskar's existence in this world. The game becomes too dangerous and now two children with a help of new friends have to find a way to resolve the problem and return home.
I don't know if it sounds any promising or not but I really enjoyed Oskar and Josefine. The production quality is pretty good all over the film. It was filmed in different locations in Denmark and everything looks more or less plain and simple. Hovewer from the first minutes it's also easy to see that there is always something beyond that. With careful camera work and light even ordinary things and places become rather extraordinary and memorable. What is also important is that visuals are not overused, they are just where it's necessary for the story and their quality is acceptable and convincing, particularly for a low budget film.
The same thing is about the plot, where "acceptable" is definitely a key word. Of course with a close look it's not too hard to find some minor logical problems and sometimes the plot unrolls itself too smoothly and straightforward but I don't want to be harsh on it. What's even more I don't need it because good points easily outweigh all possible drawbacks. The journey of two likable characters is not just a shallow fantasy adventure, it's a story of moral values, loyalty, friendship and courage against cruelty, ignorance and superstitions.
With two emotional and memorable performances of leading actors (Pernille Kaae Høier and Mikkel Konyher) Oskar and Josefine become an enjoyable 80 minutes film that is definitely a worthy choice for family audience all over the world. It's also nice to see that European filmmakers are ready to invest money into family film-making even sometimes without strong hopes for commercial success. I'm glad that this time they succeeded and the film become a solid hit in Denmark. Definitely a worthy effort.
8 out of 10
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