Oslo August 31st. Directed by Joachim Trier Starring Anders Danielsen Lie
Taking place over the course of one day, and inspired by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel Le Feu Follet, this melancholic second feature from Trier, tells the story of Anders, a recovering heroin addict, as he contemplates his future.
Heading into Oslo for a job interview, he wanders around the city, sits in coffee bars, meeting with family, old friends and lovers. It is in these meetings we get to see how set apart from the society he has become. As the day turns into night Anders becomes increasingly aware of that growing sense of disconnection to the world around him and seeks to find a solution, to set his soul at ease. Danielsen Lie is great as Anders, making the character believable, and likable, despite his apparent self loathing.
This all sounds quite depressing and I would be lying if I told you Oslo, August 31st wasn’t challenging viewing, because it is both. There is also humour and scenes of beauty in the mix too, and Trier, with the expert help of cinematographer, Jakob Inhre, has crafted an interesting and thoughtful film, which successfully pulls off the old trick of making the city seem like a character in the story.
Oslo August 31st is out in cinemas on November 4th
words Daniel Davidson