French filmmakers are always good for source material, as no one really wants to watch a French film; most people would rather watch a remake in their own language. In the case of Oslo, Norwegian director Joachim Trier has retooled Louis Malle’s rendering of Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel Le Feu Follet, and has added one thing that Scandinavians specialize in: gloom.
It’s the tale of one day in the life of Anders (played by Anders Danielsen Lie), a heroin addict who is permitted an evening’s leave from a rehab unit outside Oslo. Is this a reward for good behavior, or a test of the progress of his treatment? Considering the turmoil he experiences during his contact with the outside world, one wonders.
Says Peter Bradshaw, of The Guardian:
“Danielsen Lie gives an excellent performance as Anders: resentful, self-questioning, hopeful, vulnerable and angry. There is one outstanding scene in which one friend, a former hedonist, now a placid academic and married man, confesses his desperate boredom with life. Is there a way in which Anders can persuade himself that this boredom is preferable to his own state? A very rewarding and worthwhile film.”
Runtime: 96 minutes
Producer: Hans-Jørgen Osnes, Yngve Sæther, Sigve Endresen
Principal Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olaf Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Johanne Kjellevik Ledang
Screenplay: Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier