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Anders is a recovering drug addict in an Oslo rehab clinic. On 30 August, he is given a day's leave to attend a job interview in the city center. After visiting his friend Thomas, he proceeds to his appointment. In the interview, he admits to being a drug addict and storms out. He then wanders the streets of Oslo for the rest of the day and night, meeting, and sometimes confronting, people from his past. The film ends the next day, 31 August. Focusing on the decisions Anders has made with his time off. Written by
Minimal, stylistic, tragic and utterly engrossing.
The sober rationality of the young Norwegian intellectual classes provides a perfectly blank canvas on which to paint the conversely complex neuroses of the anti-hero, Anders. Anders is an intelligent and gifted opinionist and writer, but his addiction has left him riddled with insecurity. The film focuses on the most pivotal moment of this young man's life as he's tragically stuck between recovery and regression: that moment is both sprinkled with glimmers of hope and drenched in melancholia. Anders' contradiction is the eternal paradox of the addict, and perhaps Trier is presenting it as an allegory of the modern human condition.
Anders Danielsen Lie gives an incredible performance as the enigmatic hero and the acting throughout is consistently authentic, convincing and engrossing. The soft-focus cinematography (Jakob Ihre) works well with a particularly engaging sound design which, along with very conscious direction, editing and general production design, makes for technically masterful cinema with an aesthetic that is both selectively minimal and enjoyably rich.
Oslo is a tragedy. Its simple, melancholic tone and metropolitan landscapes make the film undeniably reminiscent of the French New Wave
think Hiroshima Mon Amour in present day Oslo. The film is minimal
and stylized, presenting social realism in an artistic form without losing any of its dramatic potency to surrealism. Utterly convincing and captivating: an instant indie classic.
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