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This magnificent film is based on Per Petterson's novel 'Out Stealing Horses' (Ut Og Stjæle Hester). I discovered this film at the 2019 Scandinavian Film Festival in Australia. It is mesmerising, poetic, and the cinematography is truely breathtaking. The soundtrack is both haunting and unique. Each scene was an exercise in detail. Waterfalls, owls, rainstorms, wind, moss, rivers, trees, and horses in the Norwegian forest provided a rich tapestry of backdrops which were seamlessly integrated into the story.
The clever use of seasons made the story's timeline easy to follow. The major storyline took place in the summer of 1948, and the flashbacks (from the main character, Trond) were from the winter of 1999. There was also one short scene that took place during the German occupation of Norway, and another brief scene from around 1957.
This film is both visual and script driven. The acting from every character was flawless. It goes without saying that the performances from both Stellan Skarsgård (the 67 year old Trond) and Tobias Santelmann (Trond's father) were brilliant - as always from these two seasoned actors. The real stunner, however, was Jon Ranes playing the 15 year old Trond who did a lot of the heavy lifting for this film. He was amazing and really brought life to the character and the story. I think great things await Ranes as an actor going forward.
The movie is about a 67 year old Norwegian man (Trond) reflecting back on a summer he spent with his father when he was 15 years old. The movie navigates multiple issues. These include how traumatic events early in ones life can affect a person, coming of age, father/son relationships & rivalries, loss, overcoming life's obstacles, and abandonment were all explored. If you love beautiful and deeply meaningful movies - this one should not be missed. It is really something special.
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