i felt there was no moral to this potentially preaching tale. just a sad story told in an immaculate, beautiful way.

joaquim trier‘s 2nd feature, oslo, august 31st, is somehow a version of his first, reprise: a young man with a good situation, trying to get back on his feet after spending a while in a recovering institution for depression/drug addiction. he even uses the same (non)actor – anders danielsen lie, a real life medical doctor and drummer in band virgo, whose pained smile and sophisticated expression make him a perfect fit for his character.

we are introduced to the situation via a set of frugal but relevant flash backs which give just enough information.

a lot of credit for the film’s eerily quiet image goes to jakob ihre, trier’s director of photography, for an understated but wonderfully eloquent view.

the film covers 24 hours in the life of anders. fresh out of rehab, even if just temporarily, his mind is clear if one has eyes to see. unfortunately, nobody seems to have any insight. even when he hints at suicide, his friend wraps things up with pep talk: you’ll be fine, right?

we get to live with anders one day in oslo, a background character in the story. we are there and we see how all the partying and the drinking and the friends, not even the perspective of a new love, nothing manages to take his mind off his goal.

there’s nothing more i could say. just see both films and put joaquim trier on your list of young directors to watch! i have.

photo and video credits: oslo, august 31st