Oslo, August 31st

Film, Drama
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Oslo, August 31st
‘Every junkie’s like the setting sun,’ sang Neil Young, and this deeply affecting, quiet and restrained Norwegian film is a compassionate, cutting portrait of a day in the life of a man whose light is slowly going out. Anders (Anders Danielsen) is a thirtysomething, fresh out of rehab, who arrives in Oslo for a job interview and to catch up with old friends. Over the opening credits, we hear anonymous voices recalling growing up in Oslo, which hint too at the film’s carefully-handled theme of being disconnected from places and people in your past, sometimes tragically so. Several encounters, filmed delicately and intimately by writer-director Joachim Trier (‘Reprise’), investigate this idea further as Anders fluffs the interview, spends time with an old pal who is now a husband and father, and goes to a party at the apartment of one of his successful contemporaries. Trier has adapted a 1930s French novel, which in 1963 Louis Malle filmed as ‘Le Feu Follet’, but this feels totally fresh and modern in its concerns. It’s also devastating.


Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Joachim Trier
Screenwriter: Joachim Trier
Cast: Anders Danielsen
Lie Hans Olav Brenner
Ingrid Olava
Petter Width