Monday, September 29, 2008


This Joachim Trier debut film is extremely well done in all and every sense a film has to be, but I believe that the way the film was constructed makes what superficially can be seen as a simple story become complex and very interesting. You end up with your eyes glued to the screen to see what comes next as you really have no idea and you really want to know.

Co written by Trier (yes, he’s a distant cousin of Lars von Trier) the film tells the story of two twenty-something young men, friends since childhood, that have literary ambitions and have to deal with success, failure, love, illness, frienship and in one word, life. See, it seems very simple, isn’t? Well it is not.

This is a true cerebral movie that makes you think about what you see in the screen that are many important life things as what psychosis can really be, what I’m doing with someone or many people to whom I do not really relate, how can I overcome a failure, why everybody says something and does something else, why people fall in love, etc. etc. But what is truly outstanding is that everything happens in a drama with very refined darkish humor that makes all very easy to digest and well, yes to enjoy!

Trier constructed the film with voiceovers, flashbacks (some imaginary “what-if” segments, some real and some it’s up to you to decide), astonishing editing, a palette of mainly grays/blues, eclectic music, slow pace/faster pace, great cold cinematography that gets warmer when in Paris, and ends up with a final product that is truly amazing to watch.

Excellent performances by Anders Danielsen Lie (Phillip), Espen Klouman-Høiner (Erik) and beautiful/exotic Viktoria Winge (Kari) that I honestly wished she had more time in the screen.

Some critics compare this film with Truffaut’s Jules and Jim, somehow for the story (they are quite different) but mainly for the style (maybe) and one even claim that the name of the movie suggests the reprise of Truffaut classic. I have been thinking about the name in relation to what I saw in the movie and I’m having a hard time figuring out. So, perhaps the critic is right and it was a reprise of the French director movie or maybe it was just a name. One thing I’m absolutely sure, this is a movie that you have to see several times to grasp everything that shows and says and believe me I will watch it again as I know it will be a full pleasurable experience.

Only after you seen the movie I suggest you check the Director’s note at the movie site, as what he says is remarkable and I absolutely believe that he accomplished everything he wanted to do. The movie site is here.

The movie was widely honored with 12 wins and 4 nominations including Best Direction, Best Film and Best Screenplay at the 2007 Amanda Awards, Best Director and Don Quijote Award at 2006 Karlovy Vary fest, MovieZone Award at the 2007 Rotterdam fest and the Discovery Award at 2006 Toronto fest.

This is one the few movies where you will find a director and writers saying so many things in almost two hours and absolutely staying in total coherence; as you know when you try to say too many things you almost always fail to say one thing clear, but this is totally the exception to that rule that calls to be focus. Great!

Not for all audiences, you have to like European cold countries cinema with a little touch of French cinema and a very extraordinary and unique cinematic style. I strongly suggest to watch this movie with friends, as you will feel the need to talk about everything you saw with others.


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