Oslo, August 31st
Directed by Joachim Trier
Cornerhouse, 5 November 2011
An addict nearing the end of treatment makes his way to the city, Oslo in his case, ostensibly for a job interview.
It is another step on the road to recovery, a reason for hope. In the course of the day he meets up with old friends, people he has disappointed in the past. Some don’t want him to change – he’s a free spirit, a beacon beyond their staid bourgeois lives – or don’t believe he can.
Anders Borchgrevink puts in a mesmeric performance as Anders, a man unable to abide himself or the judgement of others. Drugs may not take you very far or be sustainable as a form of escape, but they do solve a problem. Once Anders gets clean, the problem –it is called existence, or maybe the world – remains and must be dealt with in some way.
This film addresses what Camus called the one fundamental philosophical question: do you want to live or not? And it does so in an intelligent and ultimately moving manner. It’s not one for the happy, slappy, shiny people though.