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Hawaii, Oslo (2004)

Hawaii, Oslo is the story of a handful of people who cross each other's path without necessarily knowing each other, during the hottest day of the year, in Oslo. We follow Frode and Milla. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vidar
...
Leon
Evy Kasseth Røsten ...
Åsa
...
Frode
Silje Torp ...
Milla (as Silje Torp Færavaag)
Petronella Barker ...
Bobbie
Robert Skjærstad ...
Viggo
Benjamin Lønne Røsler ...
Mikkel (as Benjamin Røsler)
Ferdinand Falsen Hiis ...
Magne (as Ferdinand Falsen-Hiis)
Judith Darko ...
Tina
...
Trygve
Morten Faldaas ...
John
Kjersti Elvik ...
Dorthe
Jon Erling Wevling ...
Mads
Stein Grønli ...
Overlege Krogh
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Storyline

Hawaii, Oslo is the story of a handful of people who cross each other's path without necessarily knowing each other, during the hottest day of the year, in Oslo. We follow Frode and Milla. They are having their first child, who they are told will not live long. We follow Bobbie-Pop, a faded singer who tries to commit suicide. We follow Leon, an institutionalized kleptomaniac who is loking for Åsa, to whom he has a ten year old deal to get married. We meet Leon's brother, Trygve, who fetches Leon at the institution to celebrate his birthday, but who himself has plans to use his leave from prison to run away. And most of all we meet the angel Vidar, Leon's best buddy at the institution, who sees things no one else can see, and who may be able to save everyone - except himself? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kjærlighet for viderekomne. [Love for beginners.]

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

8 April 2005 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Havai, Oslo  »

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Box Office

Budget:

NOK 20,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the official norwegian entry for "Best Foreign Language Film" at the 2005 Academy Awards. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nærkontakt: Kabul, Oslo (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Iwaikichi
Performed by Yann Tiersen
Published by Sony
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User Reviews

 
A Story About How Love Affects Those Who Need It Most
5 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hawaii, Oslo is a story about the fear of being alone and the struggle to find someone to love. Set in present day Oslo, Erik Poppe's second film tells three different stories that intertwine. First is the story of Leon, an institutionalized kleptomaniac who is celebrating his 25th birthday. He is waiting for Åsa, a longtime friend and soon to be fiancé if they carry out their pact to marry each other if they are both single at 25. The plan becomes more complicated when his imprisoned brother, Trygve, comes with plans to escape the guard watching him and move to Hawaii with Leon. Leon is unwillingly taken on a journey through the streets of Oslo which seem to be taking him farther and farther from Åsa.

Next, we meet Mikkel and Magne, brothers who are living on their own after the recent death of their father. Mikkel fears separation from his brother if they enter into state care and acts hostile towards two social workers who take them to see their father's funeral. He is also hostile towards his mother, who has not seen her boys in over ten years. She is introduced in the film with a failed suicide attempt, but finds meaning in life when notified of her children's' father's death by Magne. Her battle to become the boys' mother will not be easy as Mikkel and Magne run away to avoid separation in foster homes.

Frode and Mille are the last couple we meet in the film and are the happy parents of a newly-born boy. Their joy over parenthood is destroyed, however, as they learn that their child has a rare heart condition and most likely will not survive for more than a week. Only one hospital in the world has ever fixed this kind of defect, and the operation will cost 900,000 kroner (about $155,000), far more than the couple's assets. Frode will stop at nothing to raise the necessary funds for the operation while Mille gives up on hope for a cure. Their relationship understandably becomes strained over the fate of their child.

While these three story lines intertwine, they are connected by Vidar, a supervisor at the institution where Leon lives. He has the ability to see the future and past in his dreams and seems to have a platonic love for anyone he encounters. As he bumps into the troubled characters of the film, he uses his visions to prepare them for the future and comfort them about the past.

The film centers on the characters' struggle to find love in their life and the fear of losing the love or fallacy of love they already have. The characters are beautifully portrayed in this aspect, and their fears and hopes seem real. Nothing is overplayed or romanticized and the stories create a fear for the worst in the viewer. Leon is driven by the memory of Åsa and is determined to reach her if she shows up. He is also haunted by the fear that she has forgotten him and that he will never see her again. Meanwhile, Frode fears losing his child and will do anything to assure a long and healthy life for the boy. He sells all his assets, including a guitar once owned by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, but still comes up short in his quest for 900,000 kroner. With the almost certain death of his child approaching, he must act quickly if he wants to save both the boy and his relationship with his wife. At first glance, Mikkel may appear to dislike his brother, often berating and abusing him. However, this is a sign of love as Mikkel fears losing Magne and only wants to control him to keep him close. He fears his mother does not actually love them as she attempts to become their guardian once again. We see this is not true though, for she seems to need them to carry on with her life. There are some other minor story lines about love including an ambulance worker who falls for the boys' mother after saving her and the love Trygve feels for Leon.

The movie also has religious and spiritual themes. Vidar uses his visions to guide and comfort the other characters and is seen as a guardian angel or even as a Jesus-like image. Early in the film, he quotes Jesus in order to stop a patient from harming Leon, saying, "Whatever you do to Leon, you also do to me." He also seems to shed feathers in several scenes and Leon even calls him his guardian angel while holding one of these feathers. There is a great scene later in the movie when we learn that another recurring character is "not who she says she is," but presumably an angel as well. These two divine figures interfere with what appears to be the fate of the characters to be alone and are a driving force for change in the lives of those around them. I did not find this theme particularly compelling but thought it was well done. Poppe presents the divine figures in a very subtle way, not making the movie about them but using them to progress the story. I also think that religious audiences will be more interested in this aspect of the film than I was.

Despite these triumphs, the film does have its drawbacks. The plot takes a long time to set up and the slow nature of the beginning can take viewers out of the story. The film is not particularly unique and has nothing new to say. The ending was especially predictable and turned me off a bit. However, Hawaii, Oslo was fun to watch and really involves the viewer. The experiences in the film are ones that everyone can connect to and sympathize with, and the story, driven by many great performances, is engrossing once it takes off.

7/10


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