Oslo, August 31st [DVD]
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Norwegian psychological drama about a day in the life of a 30-something recovering drug addict struggling to find his way in life. A follow-up to Trier's 2006 film 'Reprise', the films sees Anders Danielsen Lie resuming his role as Anders, a once-promising writer from a privileged background. Now fresh out of rehab, Anders travels to Oslo for a job interview. Before the interview, he visits friends including Thomas (Hans Olav Brenner) with whom he shared a wild past, who has now settled into family life. As he revisits old haunts and acquaintances, Anders' quiet desperation grows, and thoughts of suicide are never far from his mind.
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Top Customer Reviews
After drying off he is given a pass to go to Oslo for a job interview and a day out, so off he goes. The problem is that he comes from Oslo and all his old `friends' are still there. They have moved on with their lives whereas he has been in a downward spiral of drug abuse for years. He doesn't even have good times to show as most of it was an intoxicated blur. The interview goes badly and Anders slowly goes back to what he knows will give him solace.
This is not the first film to say drugs are bad, it is not the first to deal with suicidal tendencies or a mid life crisis, but it is different all the same. Anders has a series of conversations with the old friends he meets and what at first seems to be the perfect marriage is soon revealed to be a marriage of endured compromise. Jobs that could appear glamorous are merely a means to an end. The revelation that the whole world is rubbish is probably not what Anders wants. But it is what he deserves, because this is all about life choices. He admits to being a spoilt brat and there are references to his caring parents throughout, especially as to how much he has cost them.
He is very hard to like as a person, but it is a credit to director Joachim Trier that he still manages to engage us with someone who is a selfish drug user and dealer.Read more ›
The date is no coincidence as the film has an end of summer, end of the road feel to it. Looking forward Anders can only sense the dark nights drawing in literally and metaphorically. At 34 he is in no mood to start over in a life he is bored with. He fails at the job interview and to meet with his sister who doesn't want to see him. He meets friends, some bored with their own lives and at every step has to ask what is the point of the effort it will take to make the next.
The subject is a depressing one but the naturalistic style and honest conclusions Anders comes to about himself and his life make it worth watching. There is a stand out scene in a cafe where he listens to the chatter of other customers that really emphasises his isolation. The end credits reversing back over the locations he has visited that day reminded me of 'Before Sunrise' but with a bleak subject matter and conclusion.
Alongside this and even with the hopeful new beginning is the darker heart of Anders-a man with everything going for him,education,family,people who care-finds it impossible to see a future,attempts suicide by drowning just before the day he gets out of the clinic.Anders gets over this and suffers the optimism of others that he can start over from scratch.Anders's peculiar honesty won't allow him to be spurred by pep talks or be suffocated by goodwill.The actor's performance and facial expression of scorn and self hatred capture this quality.His refusal to compromise insisting upon the writer he might have been in the past rather than the writer he may become in the future.His friends and family keep him at a distance.His sister stands him up fearing remission and the enormous financial burden upon his family.His ex-girlfriend won't reply to his phone calls.A gap in his CV makes him fluff a good job interview.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a pretty film with an ending that was obvious from early on.A waste of money making itPublished 13 months ago by ann kristin
Anders needs a reason to live. On a day release from a drug rehabilitation clinic he attempts to re-connect with old friends and family. Read morePublished on 4 Sept. 2014 by P. Millar
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... Read morePublished on 3 April 2014 by Sindri
This movie is something that people can relate too and with it's sensitivity it may even help some people. Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2013 by Mr. T. Whaymand
The acting is brilliant. The content - current and empathetic: photography - pacing - so good.
An all round, well perfected film that actually says something.
A beautiful and real film which I found (contrary to some other reviewers here) absorbing and satisfying. It is a clear-sighted film: visually elegant, emotionally true. Read morePublished on 6 Aug. 2013 by amg1900
This film puts life under a microscope, the life not only of an addict but also the lives of those people, his friends basically, revolving around his universe. Read morePublished on 2 May 2013 by A. Khatib
I have tried twice now to connect with this film and be able to sit through the misery of Anders but as much as I want to enjoy , appreciate or even watch , I just cant . Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2012 by cartoon