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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Upperdog


Expecting a comedy I found one of the most lovely dramas that I have seen lately that touched all my fibers and make me feel everything. I even cried, a little. Laugh, a little, with great Nordic humor. But most of all I was mesmerized by the awesome storytelling style that makes what could have been a common story into a unique emotional voyage thanks to the outstanding weaving of small incidents that make the whole a unique emotional experience even when excellent actors did mostly deadpan, emotionless, stiff body and cold performances. BRAVO!

I always felt that storytelling is one of the most important elements in a movie -if not THE most important- and this movie absolutely confirms what I've felt. With clean and almost perfect visuals that totally complement actors performances, your attention immediately goes to the story, to the characters, to the narrative and it takes a bit to understand the style but once you get it you stop thinking about whatever you think when watching movies (me, I think a lot) and enjoy the ride. Little by little, slowly, the story weaving involves you. Fantastic!

Lately multilingual films are becoming my favorites as definitively represent reality in countries with immigrants. Here we are in Norway and actors speak Norwegian, but you have a Russian character, Maria (extraordinary Agnieszka Grochowska) that communicates in English but speaks home in Russian. She's the only warm, wait not really, she's the only hot character and truly does it so well that makes the contrast to other characters more evident. Then we have Yanne and Axel, two characters that are Asian but absolutely behave like any other Norwegian, as they were adopted when were very young. The last character Per is a young Norwegian that was in Afghanistan and now is a student. The story is about these four characters and believe me, looks and feels very real.

So what's the story about? I won't tell you as I'm sure will spoil the movie; please try to watch without knowing absolutely nothing about the story (like me), it's important if you want to really enjoy the storytelling amazing style. I won't even post a trailer so you have no clues.

Big chapeau to director Sara Johnsen for an amazing film and for an excellent screenplay as she's also the writer. All recognitions that she gets are extremely well-deserved. As you know Johnsen and the film were the big winners at the recent Amanda Awards.

Absolutely must be seen if you enjoy great (and very simple) excellent cinema, but you have to at least be familiar (a little) with Nordic cinema to fully enjoy the film.

Yes, is the best Norwegian film that I've seen up-to-date.

BIG ENJOY!!!

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