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Reviews & Ratings for
Reprise More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Amazing first feature from a director to watch

9/10
Author: Margie24 from New York City
1 April 2007

This film is intellectual without being arrogant, hip and stylish without being pretentious, and brimming with youth and energy without being juvenile.

On a simplistic level, the film can be described as a coming of age story about two Oslo twenty-somethings who are writers. The scenes when they are hanging out with their friends contain witty, realistic dialogue and interactions. But this is a very rich, complex film. A unique, fresh narrative structure, depth of emotion, brilliant character development, beautiful photography, and terrific acting- this is really a film that has nothing simplistic about it. At times incisively funny, at other times angst ridden and sad, the film takes the viewer through the gamut of emotions experienced by the characters.

I didn't always know where the story or characters were going (I don't think the characters themselves did), but the director/writer was always in charge and confidently in control of every frame, yet not manipulative; I was a very satisfied viewer when the credits rolled and loud applause broke out in the audience at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Keep your eye on Joachim Trier- he's going places.

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45 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Best Norwegian movie in years

9/10
Author: kraoe from Norway
14 July 2006

I watched this movie at the first official showing and I was really, really impressed.

It deals with its serious issues in a very thoroughly and convincing manner, without ever becoming sentimental or depressing. It keeps the pace all through the movie, and the balance between the humor and the horror is subtle and touching. It has, however, rather many references to Norwegian culture, and therefore I am curious how the movie will work for an international audience.

It would be modest to say that this is the best Norwegian movie since 'Aberdeen'.

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36 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

review from Premier at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2006

9/10
Author: Ema Culik from United Kingdom
15 April 2007

Reprise is the story of two aspiring writers, Phillip and Erik, who both submit their manuscripts to a publishing house, resulting in the acceptance and overnight success of Phillip's novel, while Erik's is returned to him rejected. "It confirmed what I had always thought. I have no talent whatsoever." The film tells of youthful aspiration, unanticipated tragedy and what consequences this has on young people as they try to make a path for themselves through life.

The film opens with Phillip and Erik standing by a postbox, preparing to send off their literary efforts. Already the scene is tinged with the dreary greyish blue and grey shades that colour the whole film, the two boys clothed in black. The dreariness of these colours (trendy as they are at the moment) add to the film's style but also stains the action with a frustrated melancholy that reflects that of the protagonists', as they come up against failure and difficulty. In this first scene, however, the post box shines out against this backdrop in deep red, a beacon of hope. Already we see the controlled aesthetic beauty of the style, and an attention to detail with which the emotions of the characters are portrayed through visual means.

Six months after Phillip's book is published, we see Erik and Phillip's other friends pick him up from a psychiatric hospital where he has been since a mental breakdown that eventually caused him to come to blows with a glass door. The film treats the issue of madness sensitively and thoughtfully, inspiring empathy and understanding. The young Anders Danielsen Lie is excellent as Phillip, playing the troubled but gifted writer subtly and powerfully. The events are not shown chronologically, to give weight to those things that made the most crashing impact. For example, it is not until Phillip's return form hospital that we learn of the existence of his girlfriend Kari, whom he loved so intensely that it, according to the psychiatrists, triggered his mental disintegration. This side of the story is told separately from the progression of events, giving it a strength that shows just how much it affected him. Similarly, Trier makes use of flashbacks and mixes up viewpoints of situations to show them in the way that they would be remembered - allowing us to understand and associate with the characters all the more. Also, when we see conversations between Phillip and Kari, they are often shown to not be speaking, while their voices play in the soundtrack, and only occasional words are mouthed out. Such techniques portray a scene filled with emotional closeness, and show it how it might be remembered - after all the mind does not retain all details with photographic precision, but holds on more tightly to those which have some emotional importance.

However, the film is not entirely pervaded by this intense mood, which might make it too heavy. Trier still has a sense of humour, and that is what gives the film its completeness. He portrays the charming silliness of the youths with empathy - for example, their great admiration for their literary hero. They find his house, and seeing that he is walking his dog in a nearby park, take a picture where it seems like Phillip is jovially discussing some fascinating topic with his hero. The next shot cuts to their discovery that the photo is completely black. "It helps if you take off the lens cap." Trier's gentle mockery of the protagonists endears us to them, with their youthful ineptitude. I also particularly liked the use of text - when they discover that said hero will probably be present at a book launch party they are invited to, his name flashes up in white lettering that fills the screen in a news headline manner that captures their innocent joy perfectly, and also pokes slight fun at it. In general the film captures the vivacity and excitement of the characters, though still in a controlled manner. After we see them post their manuscripts, Erik narrates a black and white passage which excitedly reels off all their dreams and hopes where they jet off across the world, meeting weird and wonderful women and sparking literary debate, and eventually accidentally find each other again in a café, no, in the street, no, in the metro.. It becomes all the more tragic of course, after all of this, to see how things actually turn out. By showing not only the events of the story, but also the characters' thoughts and memories, Trier gives a full account of the emotions that the characters endure. In addition, the importance of friendships and relationships is also shown through the characters' banter and teasing and stumbles as they try to find the right way to deal with other people. Their hearts are open and we are let into them and bond with them as they are swept along by events.

In the introduction to this film, the audience was told to be kind to Trier and the rest of the delegation, as this was the international premier of this debut film - and the director had never had a feature film shown to any audience ever before. Cheers welcomed them into the hall. And I have to say, I think they are deserved. This is an extremely proficient effort for a first film, which combines sensitivity and dry humour, style and emotional understanding, excellent acting and cinematic control. It is certainly one of the strongest films in the competition this year.

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31 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Quirky, bittersweet, screwball comedy Norwegian style

8/10
Author: rasecz from United States
2 April 2007

Five good friends. Young men not yet settled into career lives. Two are trying to become authors. Phillipe gets published quickly, while Erik is struggling to get his first book out. Phillipe proves to be suffering from a psychosis that interferes with his writing. That is in a nutshell the film's backbone. However there is a lot more going on.

The complex narrative with multiple characters is told in a quirky, original style. Time-lines are heavily sliced. Multiple takes are intercut into seamless conversations. Explanatory flashbacks are inserted almost as if they are part of the action. And so on. It's all fresh, fast moving, and fun to watch.

It is a bittersweet story of young adults leaving behind the carefree existence of dreamers and gravitating towards the settled lives of older adults. The characters are well conceived. Their antics and clever dialogue provide much of the material for the many funny screwball moments. Great debut film for the director.

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22 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

It's been a long time...

9/10
Author: pierre_manon from Canada
16 December 2007

Since I saw a movie that i could relate to as much. In some ways it really felt like my life with my group of friends when I was longer.

I truly enjoyed that movie, there is a feeling to it and the cinematography is excellent. The actors were amazing. I went to look at their profile and it seems that most of them don't have a lot of experience but it doesn't show, on the contrary, there is a freshness to their performance, they are quite good.

The Soundtrack is amazing, from Joy Division to New Order and other cool music that unfortunately I don't know yet about. Totally what I needed to watch in the cold snow storm coming down right now in Montréal.

See it!

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Excellent but 'different' movie

10/10
Author: mr. T from Netherlands
3 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is without doubt a very well made movie. The style of filming and editing did remind me of the movie "Hawaii, Oslo". However, this movie deals with friendship, love and mental illness in a group of friends in their early twenties and is not a fairytale story (as in "Hawaii, Oslo"). Two of the friends are writers that want to be famous and part of the literature establishment in Norway. That's why it can be an advantage to have some knowledge about Norwegian culture, the Norwegian language and about the city of Oslo. But all is not needed to be impressed about "Reprise". This because "Reprise" is in the first place about universal things like interpersonal relationships, sadness and identity. You can also see this movie as a filmed portrait of a group of friends. If you see it like that, all main characters are presented in a warm and positive way. Not as 'bad' or as 'good', but as humans with shortcomings. The movie is not at all boring or slow. It contains also a lot of humor (for example when a dog in the park 'attacks' Erik). The ending of the movie is very a-typical and creative (with a counting Phillip). If you like stereotypical blockbusters from Hollywood, violent movies or 'good versus bad' movies, then don't see this one. But if you, Norwegian or not (and I am not), do like an excellent movie about human emotions, then this is probably one to been seen by you. In my opinion, this is a masterpiece. I hope it will be seen by a large international audience. This movie deserves it.

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21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Youthful New Wave-ish wit from Norway

9/10
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
13 May 2007

Joachim Trier's smart, witty first film about a group of talented Oslo twenty-somethings won a prize at Toronto and was Norway's Oscar entry. 'Reprise' focuses on Erik (Espen Klouman Hoiner, who's blond, and smiles practically all the time) and Phillip (Anders Danielsen Lie, dark-haired, crew-cut, and wide-eyed). They're well-off, presentable, and ambitious young men (and best friends) who try to launch writing careers by submitting manuscripts at the same moment. They also share a passion for the same reclusive novelist, Sten Egil Dahl (Sigmund Saeverud). The film amuses us right away by showing a series of alternative possible outcomes to the young men's ambitions with quicksilver editing and a bright voice-over--a light approach which, with the close artistic friendship in the story's foreground, brings up memories of the Nouvelle Vague and especially Truffaut's 'Jules et Jim.' The screenplay, appropriately for a treatment of young people on the brink of maturity, constantly toys with possibilities, which we briefly see. Much of its charm is in the editing, but the opening segment is such a flood of wit, it's a little hard to sustain it.

Moreover things turn a bit more Nordic and dark when Philip is the one to get published first, but immediately has a psychotic episode--partly attributed by doctors and family to his "obsessive" love for his girlfriend Kari (Viktoria Winge)--that lands him for a while in a sanatorium. Much of the film that follows deals with the problems for Phillip and the problems Phillip poses for others after his psychosis emerges.

Now Erik gets a MS. accepted, a little novel (we guess) called 'Prosopopeia.' He thinks that with this event, he must end his relationship with his longtime girlfriend Lillian (Silje Hagen) -- a decision perpetually put off that may recall Matthieu Amalric's wavering over Emmanuelle Devos in Arnaud Desplechin's similar study of a group of (a bit older) intellectual young people, the 1996 'My Sex Life. . .or How I Got Into an Argument.'

Reprise is full of little ironies, some a bit obvious. There's one friend who acts as a mentor for the guys. He says not to have girlfriends -- they'll make you settle into a life of watching TV series and having nice dinners and give you too little time to read and listen to music, he says. Then, wouldn't you know it, he's the first one to wind up married and living the bourgeois family life. Another easy irony is the way the pretty editor at Phillip's publisher's is first utterly repelled by an older punk rock band friend's politically incorrect and offense chatter, then later is drawn to him like a magnet and marries him.

The film's co-writer Eskil Vogt studied at La Feris, and his French residence comes out in the way two segments of Reprise take place in Paris, where Philip and Kari first discover they're in love and where they go back after his mental problems to recapture the feeling, with mixed success.

Erik and Phillip know where the reclusive Sten Egil Dahl lives and occasionally spy on him. Phillip shoots Erik on a bench pretending to talk with the writer but forgets to remove the lens cap so the photo is a blank. Undeterred, Erik enlarges the resulting black rectangle and hangs it in a prominent place on his wall. Later it turns up as an emblem on the jacket of his book.

Erik performs badly on TV after 'Prosopopeia' is out (arguments over the odd title stand in for a young author's stubborn missteps). He refuses to acknowledge a personal element in his references to psychosis, or anything else for that matter, in his book; and such reticence doesn't go over well on the boob tube. He also reflexively uses a lot of affected finger "quote" marks imitating their mentor, making him look the fool even to his friends. But, in another quick irony, Sten Egil Dahl sees the show, reads Erik's book, and, rescuing him from a mugger, reassures him that he did right on television and that he likes his novel -- or most of it, anyway.

Phillip's psychosis seems to come and go. He can't write any more -- but then he does, though it's unsuccessful, as Erik feels obliged as a best friend to tell him. Phillip has a habit of counting from ten down to zero and we may think when he gets to zero one day he's going to throw himself off a roof or in front of a truck. The darker side is always there, but also the light side. That's why, Trier says, he used lots of punk music but also French poetry in his film. Part of the pleasure in this enjoyable, fresh piece of work is the sense of a group of talented, bright young people at work together making it. The punk band is part of the way the film fills in a whole group of friends from this generation of whom Phillip and Erik are only the foreground. Norwegian film-making plainly is infused with plenty of new blood and in a good period: there were plenty of Norwegian competitors for their Oscar submission this year.

Shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival 2007.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Decepticon's And Literary Merit

9/10
Author: Joseph Sylvers from United States
5 September 2008

Good direction, great soundtrack, dialog, editing, a surprisingly full movie from a first time director.

Two Norwigian friends in their early twenties Philip and Erik, submit there first manuscripts on the same day, one is accepted and becomes a...(read more) critical darling, the other swims in a sea of rejection letters. In the first five minutes we see at least two altered timeliness of what might have happened to these characters had they both been accepted or had they both been rejected, Run Lola Run style in accelerated montage lead by voice over.

The world which could have been, is then followed by six months later, when Erikis getting out o mental institute after a having suffered a breakdown sometime before, Philip is sticking with him, keeping a spare key, making sure he takes his medication on time, and still trying to get his own work published, which it shortly is.

Erik and Philip, and their motley crew of friends like the the crude Morten singer of such classic punk songs like "Fingerfucked by the Prime Minister", and the intellectually over-zealous "Porno Lars", all hang out and well just hang out.

Erik is trying to recreate his obsessive relationship(against dr's orders), going as far as to meticulously re-create a trip they took to Paris. Philip is debating whether or not to dump his girlfriend so he can sew his whitely oats, and trying to escape the shadow of Eirk and their hero Stein Egl Dahl, their favorite author who also happens to live in their home town.

As the title suggests, the film is about these characters trying to re-create, re-capture the past, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Are you holding onto your dreams or are you clinging to them, are your friends a support group or a crutch to keep out the "real world", do you really love her, or is she just an obsession, should you leave him, or are you just selfish. Is there any way to escape cliché, and live "genuinely"? These are questions which are especially pertinent to the coming of age twenty somethings in the film, but they are universal questions everyone probably at numerous times in their life will have to face. And this film captures them, the highs, the lows, and the cream filled centers...good stuff.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I wish we could just meet all over again…Reprise

9/10
Author: jaredmobarak from buffalo, ny, usa
2 August 2008

Joachim Trier has definitely accomplished something with his debut feature film. The opening sequence is so disorienting that you can't begin to expect what will happen next. Showing a montage of what "could" happen once our two leads mail out their manuscripts, from success to failure to meeting again and succeeding together, is a bold move. I wasn't sure if we had just been privy to the entire film condensed and would soon see the details, or if the title of the film would be taken literally and we'd see a Reprise of the events. Of course, the latter is what occurred. After the montage, we are transported back to that fateful moment of their first novels being submitted for publishing. This time, however, in the real world, only Phillip succeeds in getting a book deal done while Erik is rejected to try again. Both young men then find their lives going in different directions only to converge once more at a dark place for both, a time for a rebirth in life for Phillip and career for Erik.

The gimmick of showing the audience multiple vignettes of the past throughout the film never seems forced. Always seamlessly giving us insight and background into the proceedings, these teleportations through time help flesh out our characters and their motivations. We learn how these two writers got mixed up with a group of friends a little rougher around the edges than them, how Phillip and his girlfriend Kari met, the boys' affinity for author Sten Egil Dahl, and much more. The most brilliant use is when Phillip and Kari go to Paris to relive the journey that made them fall in love the first time. A trip where he hopes to regain those feelings he had been programmed to forget during his stint in a mental hospital, the mixing of scenes from the first time and this current time are nice. The dialogue is overlapping the images, sporadically rejoining with the mouth movements of the characters before getting unsynched again. Words and images don't necessarily have to converge here, whether it the voice of the leads or that of the narrator. A story is being told; we are shown what could happen in their lives, not necessarily the end all.

When the final black screen of Stop is shown, you begin to wonder what other way the story could have gone. What could have happened if Erik found initial success and not Phillip? Would the latter's psychosis still have cropped up? Would Erik have fallen fast into pretentiousness like fellow writer Mathis Wergeland? Who knows? Trier just gives us a glimpse of this one way that it can happen, and for once it is not the easy way out. What continues on as a tragedy, one where you can just feel something horrific will occur, to the point where the director puts us in a sequence that screams suicide is made all the more powerful by the prospect of happiness at the end. The opening introduction ends on a happy note, so there is always hope the meat of the film will too, despite the allusions to epic tragedy of Icarus flying too close to the sun.

Overall, the actual activity of writing a novel has little to do with the meaning of the film. It is just the occupation of these two men, the driving force of their lives and impetus for how they live. What Reprise truly concerns is the meaning of life and how one chooses to live it. It is a cyclical path bringing people in and out of each other's vision for good or worse at the most random times. Relationships play a huge role as well, whether they are romantic or platonic. Erik and Phillip have a bond with one another, a bond that had been forged at a very young age. The two compete yet also prop the other up when they need it most. At times there is jealousy and hatred, but never at their cores. The inclusion of Lillian and Kari only show both men's insecurities in themselves; Erik keeping Lillian away from the friends he hangs with and Phillip unable to accept the profound love he has for Kari. Both writers have dreams, but they are young, and achieving them too fast can have a profound effect on even the strongest soul.

This strong story and deftly handled craft is bolstered by a couple brilliant performances. Sure the group is fun to join with on their excursions—a party towards the end is a lot of fun—yet the main three shine above all else. Viktoria Winge is stunning as Kari, so deeply in love with her broken man, she is willing to pick up the pieces of their relationship after his time away getting help. Trying her hardest to stay patient with Phillip, she does everything in her power to make him remember what it was they felt upon meeting, to smile at the memory of him saying they were always destined to meet and be together. Espen Klouman-Høiner as Erik is very good as well. He is the rock of the group, the one with his head on straight always attempting to help those around him, sometimes at the neglect of himself. At the end, when faced with the dilemma of staying around to help or going away from Oslo to clear his mind and hone his apparent skills from his first novel, the decision weighs deeply upon him. Lastly, and most importantly, is Ander Danielsen Lie portraying Phillip. A deeply emotive soul, he is one who needs to break and fail in order to except the fact that he is fallible. Getting all he wants so early only eats away at him, making him feel that it is undeserved. Needing to find alignment again, it takes time and pain to be able to live once more is happiness.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Incredible Debut Film!!!

10/10
Author: threehourboner
29 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

UHMAAAAAAZZING...I saw this at the San Francisco Film Festival, and the movie immediately shot into my top ten movies of all time.

The film centers on two best friends, both writers: Philip, whose debut novel has already catapulted him to literary frame and dropped him hard into mental anguish, and Erik, whose manuscript was rejected, now trying to bring Philip back to his old self.

what's masterfully portrayed is the writer's mind.

As Erik's life remains charmed, even exciting as his own manuscript is about to be published, Philip's mind is fractured...words and events slip from here and there, time is broken. His sudden rise and fall has robbed Philip of his identity. Instead of living his life, he tries to piece it together like a book, imbuing himself with the emotions, the love, that once was there. But like writer's block, he fails, and no amount of friendly encouragement from Erik can penetrate Philip's problems.

Philip turns to desperate measures--a bike ride down the hill, eyes closed. For once the raw emotions of mortal fear and exhilaration restores his humanity--and he returns home and furiously writes again, his first time in months. But again, his output is no good, his expectations thwarted, his life, once more without meaning or direction.

Its ambiguous end is particularly effective. It feels real, but you can also sense that it's a well-crafted happy ending imagined by a gifted writer.

It all sounds terribly depressing...but Reprise is not. It's full of humor and pathos, and never errs into pretentiousness. I just hope Joachim Trier, with his incredible film debut, won't burn out quickly like his character Philip.

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