It's a film whose pleasures come slowly, as we, like the title character, discover the joys he's missed. Best of all, we, like Odd the Norwegian bachelor, figure out it is never too late to start living.
Hamer creates a quirky, beguiling, and very funny mood piece that reflects on age, adventure, uncertainty, and humanity. Owe gives the character of Horten an off-center dignity that will suggest comparisons to Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton
The thing about a deadpan comedy is, it must involve us in the lives of its characters, so we can understand why they are funny while at the same time so distant. O'Horten, a bittersweet whimsy by the Norwegian director Bent Hamer, finds that effortless.
A veteran actor of half-a-century's standing (and several Lars von Trier projects), his wry, detached decency is a large part of the film's charm as he greets his new life's surprises with calm, slightly puzzled good humor.
Nothing about this film even hints at being rushed -- if there were a cinematic equivalent to the Slow Food movement, this would fit right in -- but that doesn't stop it from being all that you want it to be.