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Norwegian screenwriter and director Joachim Trier's second feature film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 64th Cannes International Film Festival in 2011, was screened in the Vanguard section at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, was shot on location in Oslo, Norway and is a loose adaptation of French writer Pierre Drieu La Rochelle's novel "Le feu follet" from 1931 which French screenwriter, producer and director Louis Malle (1932-1995) honored with his masterful adaptation "The Fire Within" (1963). It tells the story about a recovering drug addict in his thirties named Anders who has been living at an unlocked residential treatment center for a long time. It's summer and Anders is on his way to Oslo, Norway where a job interview awaits him, but first and foremost he has to locate his former girlfriend named Iselin and visit some of his old friends.
Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier's stylistic, acute and to a certain extent lyrical directing, captures both the spirit of Oslo and the spirit of the main character in this melancholic though efficiently humorous drama which similar to the director's feature film debut "Reprise" (2006) has Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie in one of the leading roles, was shot on some of the same locations, was co-written by Norwegian screenwriter Eskil Vogt, photographed by Norwegian cinematographer Jacob Ihre and is a homage to the capital city of Norway. This dense fictional tale is emphasized by its very realistic urban milieu depictions, a fine acting performance by Anders Danielsen Lie where he conveys more with his facial expressions than with his words and some noticeable supporting acting performances by amongst others Hans Olav Brenner as the protagonist's close friend named Thomas.
This quietly paced and character-driven story about friendship, life choices and interpersonal relations where a gifted though scarred and inconsolable man whom has reached a final decision returns to his home-place which he has been away from for a long time, deserves recognition for being one of, if not the only Norwegian film which deals with the theme of suicide so openly. The refined narrative structure, subtle character development, psychological depth, poignant use of sound, rarely nostalgic voice-over narrations, use of music and the ardent cinematography reinforces the significant atmosphere in this minimalistic, existentialistic and introspective study of character which was produced by Norwegian producers Hans-Jørgen Osnes, Yngve Sæther and Sigve Endresen and which gained awards for Best Film and Best Cinematography at The 22nd Stockholm Film Festival in 2011.
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