5.8/10
446
3 user 37 critic

Bright Nights (2017)

Helle Nächte (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 10 August 2017 (Germany)
A father tries to rekindle his relationship with his son after years of absence and lack of communication. He takes him on a car ride across northern Norway, hoping it is not too late.

Director:

Thomas Arslan

Writer:

Thomas Arslan
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Georg Friedrich ... Michael
Tristan Göbel Tristan Göbel ... Luis
Marie Leuenberger ... Leyla
Hanna Karlberg Hanna Karlberg ... Cecilia
Aggie Peterson Aggie Peterson ... Cecilias Mutter
Frank Arne Olsen Frank Arne Olsen ... Cecilias Vater
Helle Goldman Helle Goldman ... Pfarrerin
Christina Slette Johnson Christina Slette Johnson ... Gruppe an See
Sondre Sandbakken Sondre Sandbakken ... Gruppe an See
Maren Theisen Maren Theisen ... Gruppe an See
Mathilde Sofie Henriksen Mathilde Sofie Henriksen ... Gruppe an See
Nikolas Steffensen Krane Nikolas Steffensen Krane ... Gruppe an See (as Nikolas Krane)
Sigurd Kornelius Lakseide Sigurd Kornelius Lakseide ... Gruppe an See
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Storyline

A father tries to rekindle his relationship with his son after years of absence and lack of communication. He takes him on a car ride across northern Norway, hoping it is not too late.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

car | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Set in rural northern Norway, the film, as the title alludes to, is set at the time of year where the country enjoys three months of constant daylight. See more »

User Reviews

 
Shallow story, lots of clichés, and landscapes did not rescue the movie. Father role won Best Actor prize from Berlinale 2017 International Jury, but I wonder why
12 March 2017 | by JvH48See all my reviews

Seen at the Berlinale 2017, where it was part of the official Competition for the Golden Bear. Not a spoiler, as no secret anymore: The father role, played by Georg Friedrich, won the Silver Bear for Best Actor awarded by the Berlinale 2017 International Jury. I myself and several others were surprised about this prize, so I would like to hear the motivation of the jury, none of which was revealed at the Award Ceremony, so I wonder.

As an amateur film viewer, my conclusion is different. Even worse, I see no reason for any prize whatsoever. This movie simply had too little content overall. The plot and setting were nice, so the landscapes and the environment worked as icing on the cake. However, it did not rescue the movie as a whole. I'm not sure even, whether father and son really bonded together eventually. Maybe only some groundwork has been prepared for smoother future contacts.

The road movie through forests and hills, a few lakes, and more forests and hills, does on itself not offer ample landscape material to make it worthwhile as a sightseeing tour. The people we encountered were not really introduced and thus not really part of the road movie, just tapestry and probably added to un-shallow the story, or merely to fill the nearly one and a half hour running time.

Illustrative for the core story is how father and son start on the wrong foot. Father mentions that he had no car for three years, not needing one in Berlin where he lives. The son finds it boring, saying that as soon he comes to some money he will buy something cool like a BMW or a Mercedes. Apparently, they speak on different wavelengths and come from different worlds, not surprising given their age difference, the many years they did not see each other, and being unaware of each other's circumstances.

One can construe this talk about cars to be a cliché, but it paints a picture that will remain effective during the rest of the running time. I saw more such clichés along the story, like the talk about The Lord Of The Rings, as the father has read the book (boring!) and the son saw the movie (I'm not sure the saw the complete trilogy). The latter example came forth from a side remark triggered by the landscape around them, but disappeared from the dialogue due to some new wavelength difference between the two.

In the opening scene we see that the current partner of the father got a job offer in Washington for a year, and she has already decided in her heart to accept the job. Nowhere further in the story is this item returning, so was this just another way to extend the running time?? Or a way to let us get acquainted with one of the main protagonists, so part of the initial exposition of characters?? This breakfast table topic in an early scene is nowhere re-appearing in the story, so WTF??

All in all, as said before, not a prize worthy movie for a lot of reasons. No substantial story, a lot of clichés about father/son differences in age and topics of interest, and more such mildly interesting things that are no guarantee for keeping you awake.


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Details

Country:

Germany | Norway

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

10 August 2017 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Bright Nights See more »

Filming Locations:

Norway See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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