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As the late Amy Winehouse discovered, offers of a visit to rehab often get received with a `no, no, no'. Well in this case Anders played by Anders Danielson-Lie, is in rehab, whilst he is successfully completing the course it is obvious that he is just going through the motions and sobriety, which can be depressing at the best of times, has left him feeling worthless. So he fills his pocket with stones and jumps in a lake - which sort of fails miserably.

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. It is from the book by the late Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, and so this must be a real labour of love to have taken such an old story and set it in a modern context

This is in Norwegian and runs for just over an hour and a half; it will not be to everybody's taste as some would call it a slow burner or `lyrically paced'. This is not an action film it is a study of self awareness, delusion and a wasted life. The rare glimmers of hope and even redemption have to be relished when they come as they are few and far between, that aside this is still a very original piece of cinema that will probably not get the real attention it deserves.
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on 8 July 2013
There's a scene in a cafe where the lead character sits and listens and watches all of the people around him, and they talk about their desires and their wants, what they hope to achieve, and their grievances in love and work. And an earlier scene where the lead meets up with an old friend who complains that his child has a rash and he doesn't have enough sex with his wife, and their only time of closeness is playing a violent video game. Everyone has their little problems, and everyone talks about them. The lead has one main problem, which he rarely talks about - he's looking for a reason to live, while making unnoticed steps towards his end. It's also a film bubbling with missed connections, lost opportunities, a job interview that could have gone well had he not bailed in self hatred, a sister who doesn't want to see him, a girl he has a moment with but he's waiting for someone else, a lost kiss, people he passes on the street, all of them are weighted with possibilities for a different film. It's also very beautiful.
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on 3 April 2014
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 screened in the Vanguard section at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, was shot on location in Oslo, Norway and is a loose adaptation of French writer Pierre Drieu La Rochelle`s novel “Le feu follet” from 1931 which French screenwriter, producer and director Louis Malle (1932-1995) honoured with his masterful adaptation “The Fire Within” (1963). It tells the story about a recovering drug addict in his thirties named Anders who has been living at an unlocked residential treatment center for a long time. It`s summer and Anders is on his way to Oslo, Norway where a job interview awaits him, but first and foremost he has to locate his former girlfriend named Iselin and visit some of his old friends.

Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier`s stylistic, acute and to a certain extent lyrical directing, captures both the spirit of Oslo and the spirit of the main character in this melancholic though efficiently humorous drama which similar to the director`s feature film debut “Reprise” (2006) has Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie in one of the leading roles, was shot on some of the same locations, was co-written by Norwegian screenwriter Eskil Vogt, photographed by Norwegian cinematographer Jacob Ihre and is a homage to the capital city of Norway. This dense fictional tale is emphasized by its very realistic urban milieu depictions, a fine acting performance by Anders Danielsen Lie where he conveys more with his facial expressions than with his words and some noticeable supporting acting performances by amongst others Hans Olav Brenner as the protagonist`s close friend named Thomas.

This quietly paced and character-driven story about friendship, life choices and interpersonal relations where a gifted though scarred and inconsolable man whom has reached a final decision returns to his home-place which he has been away from for a long time, deserves recognition for being one of, if not the only Norwegian film which deals with the theme of suicide so openly. The refined narrative structure, subtle character development, psychological depth, poignant use of sound, rarely nostalgic voice-over narrations, use of music and the ardent cinematography reinforces the significant atmosphere in this minimalistic, existentialistic and introspective study of character which was produced by Norwegian producers Hans-Jørgen Osnes, Yngve Sæther and Sigve Endresen and which gained awards for Best Film and Best Cinematography at The 22nd Stockholm Film Festival in 2011.
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on 31 October 2013
This movie is something that people can relate too and with it's sensitivity it may even help some people. The thing that I didn't like in the film is the one scene that is very badly edited. The guy suddenly appears closer to the person he's talking too and has the ability to talk without moving his lips. This scene only last a minute or two and most people would not even notice or think twice about it. However for me knowing how easy film editing is nowadays I was very disappointed. An error like this is only caused by the editor being slack. Video editing has never been easier and there no excuse for this to happen in 2013.

I am a bit of a 'Norway fan' I love the country and probably the world's biggest Donkeyboy fan - A massive Norwegian pop band. I know the country is capable of producing outstanding works in art, music and film which makes this particular movie even more disappointing because of the poor production values in that *one scene*. I don't understand why it wasn't picked up on and corrected before the movie went into Norway's cinemas, it would of only taken about 10 mins to correct if not less.
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on 6 August 2013
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. Oslo is one of the main characters and the city is shown at different times of day and in different places, indoors and outdoors, dawn, day, evening, night. The central character (Anders) intersects with the lives of many others and each of these other characters, too, presents a beautiful and complete vignette, however slight. Above all, Anders is so real and so convincing that it seems wrong to congratulate the actor on a very fine performance - the illusion is so perfect that it does not seem like a performance, or an actor, at all. He is a recovering addict contemplating suicide but there is no self pity, no drama, just a transcendent humanity which makes it possible to empathise and identify with him completely. It is not a miserable film but one of great beauty. Even the treatment of suicide - as a decision, not a failure or a drama - is in tune with the dominant theme, which is seeing and accepting things, quite simply, as they are.
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on 2 May 2013
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. This film will be depressing and tedious for some viewers because there is no action in it. If you are able to sit for more than an hour to watch this movie, you will be rewarded with the idea that "at the moment my life is better and I wish it stays that way".
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VINE VOICEon 11 July 2013
Norwegian drama about a day in the life of Anders, a recovering drug addict.Reaching the end of a treatment course at a rehab centre,Anders is clean and has a day's leave in Oslo to go to a job interview and see old friends,where he takes stock of himself and his situation.Based on Pierre-Eugene Drieu La Rochelle's 30s novelLe Feu Follet,once filmed by Louis Malle,this is a sombre reflective drama about a man who may be at the end of his life. Anders Danielsen Lie is the thirty something heroin addict allowed out of rehab for a day wandering Oslo,ruminating on the value of his existence: an internal debate that exerts a low-key,powerful grip.The drama is also a love letter to Oslo,rapturously rendered, the city at summer's end is lush and green, redolent with the memories of adolescent bliss, recalled via voiceovers .

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.

The film is not bleak,it's made up of fleeting,episodic moments--from Anders's charged conversations with friends, percolating with wounded pride and self-mockery, to his catching snippets of strangers' gossiping in a café, or watching his new acquaintances go for a dip in a public swimming pool before summer officially ends. The evocation of things ending suffuses the film with melancholy, as Anders increasingly becomes more an observer rather than a participant in his own life.A chance remark sends him back over the edge into drugs and alcohol.His privileged upbringing has left him with expectations he can't meet.Anders takes his leave of every scene/situation as if for the last time.The city awakening to another day has a poignancy and lyricism because of Anders personal tragedy, and with the empty streets they affirm what Anders has rejected-the delicate beauty of the everyday.Has a superb soundtrack.In Norwegian with English subtitles.
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Really exceptional piece of work, so well written and performed it hardly seems like it's been written or performed. Not the happiest of stories but it resonates and feels authentic so you stay with it until its near-inevitable conclusion. Jakob Ihre's gliding cinematography perfectly captures the mood too. It will probably be too slow and thoughtful for some, it's about people and not action, but if you have the patience it's well rewarded. In the end it makes you think that while we might be good at helping people to get better, we're really not very good at helping them to be well.
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VINE VOICEon 4 September 2014
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. He watches the people around him - each with their own little problems which make up a life - and he has just one big problem which he can't get past - he doesn't want the small problems, he can't re-connect without the drugs, life without being high is flat and featureless, other people's lives are meaningless, but he also knows he can't go back to the life of drugs and parties.

This is an exceptional film which will not appeal to people who prefer a bit more action. This is a film of mood, atmosphere and dialogue. It shows the reality behind depression and addiction and how other people, if they haven't suffered the same, can never truly understand what it is like. Definetly a film worth watching more than once.
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on 19 November 2012
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 . Anders is a miserble depressed addict and although I wasnt expecting a fun filled laugh out loud movie I just couldnt find any charm here to be bothered to watch to the end . Realistic , yes it is but not entertaining . Just as an hour or so with a moany addict would feel tedious , then so is this film. Maybe I just wasnt having a bad enough day .
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