Oslo, August 31st

Oslo, August 31st

In the second film of a trilogy that includes The Worst Person in the World, Joachim Trier finds a young man determined to change his life in a day.

Trier and co-writer Eskil Vogt are reunited with actor Anders Danielsen Lie for their second collaboration after Reprise. And Trier’s sophomore film is a giant and hugely impressive creative leap from his debut. Danielsen Lie plays Anders, a formerly promising writer from a prosperous family whose descent into drug addiction saw him cut-off from the world. Finally discharged from rehab, he is determined to turn his life around. He visits friends, hangs out in coffee bars and, through Trier’s stunningly effective use of expressionist imagery and sound, listens in on the conversations of the world around him. Throughout it all, Anders finds himself returning to the same question: what’s the point of it all?

Trier and Vogt’s skill, brilliantly realised by Danielsen Lie, is to take the weightiest of subject and filter it through a film that floats on air. Conversations delve into existential angst but Trier’s camera glides through space. Rather than diminish the film’s themes, it embellishes them. Just as the films of the French New Wave grappled with philosophical inquiries with a lightness of touch, Trier’s film succeeds in balancing Anders’ angst and disappointment at the world with a tone and energy that keeps us both transfixed and entertained.

Directed by
Runtime 95 Minutes
Release date 2011
  • Certification: 15