Norwegian director Bent Hamer's shaggy-dog story takes place in an Aki Kaurismäki–like world of deadpan anarchy and shit-faced absurdity. Odd Horten (a terrific Bård Owe), retired railroad engineer, finds his life going off the rails. In small ways, at first — little non-sequiturs like the interlude involving an ice storm, a valise, and a giant salmon. Odd responds with game bewilderment until he bumps into Dr. Sissner (Espen Skjønberg), a retired diplomat and dedicated lush who teaches him the art of driving blind. Hamer in his direction observes the exact and skewed detail in the oppressive but chimerical Norwegian bleakness — as Odd learns, it's when the stuff of ordinary life is about to be lost that its true beauty is revealed.
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