Director: Joachim Trier
Stars: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava
Joachim Trier's follow-up to Reprise is a triumph of observation. Drawing inspiration from the French novel Le Feu Follet by Pierre Eugène Drieu La Rochelle, Oslo, August 31 covers 24 hours in the life of a recovering drug addict. Anders (played by Anders Danielsen Lie) has been clean for months, but mentally he can't shake the precariousness of his situation. He knows he will slip.
The occasion for the story is a job interview in Oslo, where Anders grew up. The opening montage recalls the opening of the New Wave classic Hiroshima, Mon Amour; both films circle around place and memory to tell a story about persistent wounds and what it means to not be able to come back from something.
Oslo in summation sounds simple—man goes to job interview, talks with friends—but the effect is shattering. It avoids all the pitfalls of lousy drug movies to become something about choice and legacy.