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O'Horten
Norway/Germany/France 2007
Directed by Bent Hamer
Running time 90 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars


There’s clearly something about the frozen white landscape of Scandinavia that tends its filmmakers to dour reflection, ironic minimalism and black comedy. From Bergman to Kaurismaki the sensibility is unmistakable (it also manifists itself somewhat in Canadian film).

Bent Hamer's delightful film which would make an entertainingly contrasting double bill with Alexander Payne's About Schmidt (2002) tells the story of 67-year-old Odd Horten (Baard Owe) a just-retired train driver, an unassuming pipe-smoking little man who has faithfully appied himself to his job for 40 years. Oddly whilst his life has run strictly to time for this period his last day goes somewhat awry and a series of oddball adventures begin. Sometimes not following the schedule is a good thing.

O'Horten is a beautiful little film, quietly poignant with its eccentricities played with tongue-in-cheek and its marvellous visuals of the snow-covered Norwegian countryside offset with a delightfully country bluesy score.

Available from: Madman

 

 

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