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Review: Oslo, August 31

Surveying a failed life
By BRETT MICHEL  |  August 21, 2012
4.0 4.0 Stars

Thirty-four-year-old Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) considers himself "a spoiled brat who fucked up." Judging how acquaintances react to his unexpected presence during a day-long leave from a drug rehab center, he's also a bit of a ghost; a suicidal specter once blessed with promise, now he haunts his home of Oslo, surveying a failed life. Note that the opening montage of this second feature from Joachim Trier (Reprise) concludes with the controlled implosion of a building. "Remember what you once said," Anders later reminds an old pal," 'If someone wants to destroy himself, society should allow him to do so.' " Derived from Pierre Drieu La Rochelle's novel, Le feu follet (previously adapted by Louis Malle), the movie captures moments of lyrical beauty, from a bike ride through improvised clouds to the echoes of footfalls on stone. As the final shots mirror the first, you reflect on how life goes on, with and without us.

  Topics: Reviews , Movie Reviews, Oslo, Oslo,  More more >
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