Oslo August 31 is the kind of film that sits with you, waits in the back of your mind and haunts you for weeks to come. It is a portrait of a man on his one day of leave from rehab. He takes the day to explore Oslo and reconnect with old friends as he tries to face his impending release. It’s a simple story, that goes beyond just one person’s struggle drug addiction.
Joachim Trier is able to create a perfect balance of emotion and imagery with his melancholic storytelling. There is beauty and hope mixed in with Anders’ disappointment and despair as he navigates the last day of summer. Anders Danielson Lie captures the nuances of his character with flawless realism. He is subtle and reserved, only occasionally letting his raw pain seep out, just enough to for you to connect to him and hope things will turn out okay.
The film is one of the saddest I’ve seen and yet one of the most honest portrayal of the reality of living today. Beyond the fact that I think it is a great film, if you’ve ever known anyone who has been severely depressed, I feel like you have to see this movie. I’m not saying this as some sort of public service announcement, but rather that I think Oslo August 31 is able to capture an unexplainable emotion.