A quiet, beautifully understated film about Anders, a 34-year-old Norwegian ex-addict who is clean, but not yet sober, and fighting a pitched battle with despair.
Anders thinks himself not merely a social outcast, but someone who is doubly handicapped because he feels entirely out of phase with the world around him. The years of his life he's had stolen by drug addiction, recovery and relapse have left him entirely out of sync with his friends and family. Worse yet, he is finding it very difficult to look past his missing years and personal losses, or muster enough hope to believe that others may yet believe in him.
Although this film is a heartache, I don't believe it is, ultimately, depressing. Someone watching this film with self-awareness may come to learn that, most of the time, despair is merely surrendering to the worst lies we tell ourselves about who we are, what we've done, and what we are capable of.
And, if they are lies... why would we believe them?
Oslo, 31 August is a 2011 Norwegian film directed by Joachim Trier. Very simple, yet very intense and moving.
Anders is a smart guy, he had a stable life, a happy family, a girlfriend who loved him, but let himself go into the terrible world of drugs. Began to consume various kinds of drugs and started gradually destroying what could have been a wonderful life. At the beginning of the film, Anders is already in rehab and what we watch is a day that is given by the clinic where he is at, to go to the city of Oslo to a job interview in order to be re-integrated into society and also took the opportunity to visit some friends.
In the film we see, apart from moments between Anders and friends, also a beautiful retrospective of what was the life of Anders so far, but only by the narration of himself. He tells us certain episodes of his life as he wanders through the city, and with a beautiful cinematography behind, very elegant images of the city of Oslo. Sometimes we also hear what other people say in the city, while Anders listens to them very closely, as if all they are saying is anything he would have done or liked to do next in his life. These are extremely beautiful moments to see, because while listening to all those words we realize the suffering of Anders without him even opening his mouth to say a word.
Anders Danielsen Lie, the actor who played the main character (curiously with the same name as his) did an extremely good job! We can feel all his pain, often just by his look and body language. Sometimes even manages to be disturbing only to look at him.
A film which portrays perfectly how hard it is for society to accept someone who has made mistakes in the past, in this case, someone who was a drug addict. A society that most often do not know how to give a second chance. We also see the opposite side, of the person who no matter how hard tries to be insert back into society, feels completely apart of it. And unfortunately many people suffer from the fear of rejection, rejecting themselves doubting their own abilities and credibility.
Oslo, 31. August is a very deep film that contains much power at the social level, doing a good critique of society addressing very important moral values.
"Oslo, August 31st" is quietly, profoundly, one of the most observant and sympathetic films I've seen. Director Joachim Trier and actor Anders Danielsen Lie, working together for the second time, understand something fundamental about their character. He believes the ship has sailed without him. He screwed up. He lost years in addiction and recovery. Life has moved on. His old friends like Thomas have stayed on board the ship, and Anders feels adrift. Even the much-loved city that surrounds him is an affront, a reminder of the days not lived, the experiences missed. How can he begin again? Above all, Anders is angry with himself and in despair, although he's so inward as he tries to conceal that.