Oslo, August 31st - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Oslo, August 31st Reviews

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November 27, 2016
Norwegian language with subtitles
Director: Joachim Trier
A fairly bleak Cinema Verite art film. It tells the story of a perhaps overly-intelligent 34 year old young man Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie)who has lost his purpose - he sees no point in living. His back story is that he was an addict for five years - he takes anything to avoid his existential angst, ecstasy, heroin, alcohol and so on. So it begins at a rehab clinic where we see him walking into a lake with a weighted rock so he can drown himself, but that is just too hard to endure and he gets out.
He has a day out of the clinic to attend a job interview at an intellectual magazine, so the film is about his journey through that single day. First he meets up with an old friend and his partner and they discuss life in general. The friend is a lecturer but is not particularly happy with his life - he has a beautiful wife and baby but they don't talk or socialize or even have sex, they spend it playing an online game where the wife delights in humiliating opponents.
It's also apparent that he was successful with women, and part of his evening is spent at a party where he meets a pretty young woman who is obviously attracted to him, he is politely charming but this does not lift his spirits. There is an interesting scene in a café where he listens in on people's conversations and how banal it all is. One group of teenage girls mordantly giggle at how a singer who had blown off his head will have problems singing again.
With all this bleak ennui it should not be a surprise as to how it ends. But as I got up, I said to myself - life is what you make it. It's up to you to enjoy it - or not.
August 25, 2016
Atmospheric film describing the descent of a recovered addict who has achieved so much and has his life ahead of him.
½ April 23, 2016
In this observant, slow-burning character study about a former drug addict who's trying to keep his sobriety in check, long conversations and still, slow shots say more than the casual film-goer might think.
½ April 22, 2016
Asks the viewer to deliberate the meaning of ambiguity and looks damn good the whole time.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2016
A poignant character study, melancholy and sad, about a man facing a desolate moment in his life when all hope seems lost, everything left is despair and he sees no reason to keep on trying, and it relies on a compelling performance by Anders Danielsen Lie.
½ January 2, 2016
Good movie hard to watch. Smart and quick.
½ October 21, 2015
Bleak and beautiful portrayal of despair in the form of a young man trying to escape his destiny.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2015
Oslo, 8/31 is both a character sketch and a social drama (and in that aspect it raises questions rather than delivers a message). The film begins strong and then fades, as other reviewers have noted. I put that mostly down to the script as the acting and directing are solid-to-excellent throughout. (Love how the sound mix captures the buzz of city life.) Would recommend to lovers of film, those able to have any kind of pathos for an arrogant addict, or those interested in looking at things from a psychological/social standpoint. Others are likely to find Oslo, 8/31 emotionally unsatisfying.
September 8, 2015
The film's visual minimalism provides the peace and serenity its troubled protagonist so desperately desires.
August 1, 2015
Highly artistic and studied examination of addiction, depression, damage and alienation which takes place in one day. Joachim Trier manages to say a great deal without saying anything. And just when it feels like Anders is going to slip into a horrifying void, something small but hopeful happens.
½ July 18, 2015
Really, really calm, but hell of powerful. If you like "Lost in Translation" and "Requiem for a Dream" go watch this movie immediately.
½ July 10, 2015
It is observation made with talent of a man in between hope and tragedy that is devastating and poignant without useless sensationalism.Quiet frankly Oslo August 31 is one of the best description of addiction you could ever see.
April 19, 2015
Oslo, August 31st is a painful depiction of drug addiction and a troubled man battling his personal demons that feels like something Truffaut would have made. It's emotional heft and gripping authenticity is bolstered by the emotive and honest Anders Danielsen Lie's tremendous lead performance.
½ January 5, 2015
Dark and pensive story of a recovering drug-addict reflecting on his life and attempting to put it back together.
The first half of the movie or so is quite gripping and powerful. It introduces the fascinating main character of Anders and explores some deep and thought-provoking themes early on that really pulled me in. I was genuinely interested in how a movie that began so intriguingly and candidly would play out. However, the second half of the movie kind of lost me. Its once thoughtful mood slowly faded and the story just kind of trailed off. Not much interesting happened in this second half--it just kind of stammers on until the end, which doesn't offer much relief.
Overall, I think I understood the themes that the movies was trying to convey and the way they wanted to go about it, and I think they executed that plan well; but I just didn't find it all that compelling of a complete story in the end. I really wished the feeling and depth of the first half carried throughout the rest of the movie, as I felt that this was the best part of the whole movie. But I felt that it just didn't completely follow through with its compelling introduction.
½ November 18, 2014
A much better second film for Joachim Trier, after his technically impressive but muddled debut, Reprise. Oslo, August 31st is a very strong drug addiction drama, that concentrates on the troubles post-recovery. The film has a very steady pace throughout, which is made even more powerful by an ending that is best described as haunting. With this and Headhunters, 2012 might be the year that America finally starts to acknowledge Norwegian cinema.
½ September 8, 2014
the story is as real as it gets and has great dead on performances.
August 30, 2014
A must-see indie drama for all serious movie-goers.
July 29, 2014
It premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.] It won the prizes for Best Film and Best Cinematography at the 2011 Stockholm International Film Festival; jury president Whit Stillman described the film as "a perfectly painted portrait of a generation". It was one of three films on the Norwegian shortlist for submissions to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
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