Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
The most hard-hitting and resonant film I've seen in a long time, Oslo August 31st sets itself up with serene, fuzzy home footage and tales of blissful memories spent in the titular city of Oslo only to cut to the bleak life of Anders, a former heroin addict on his first day of life out of rehab. Searching for a meaning and a purpose in this new life he finds little in his friends' bourgeois city routines, which he neither desires nor feels he could achieve anyway, and their claims that "it'll all get better" fail to move a mind constantly probing and analysing the reality of his situation.
He soon undergoes an intense conversation in a park overlooking the city with his closest friend, wherein Anders pours out his thoughts of the time the two have spent apart, and the precision of their rapport matched with the lead's acting make the whole scene feel horribly real.
Anders wanders the often-empty city like a ghost, sitting in a café surrounded by the hollow dreams of others ("Plant a tree. Swim with dolphins. Write a great novel") and dwelling on the weight of his own existence. In two minds whether to leave the city, increasingly desperate and always beautifully shot, we follow him through the night until sunrise, when Anders appears to us in a sequence at his most unpredictable.
Undeniably disturbing, yet intimate and tender, this is a film that already feels close to my heart, one unafraid to bring up difficult questions and brilliantly able to provoke an idea of the absurdity of it all.
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