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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Anders Danielsen Lie, Espen Klouman-Høiner, Viktoria Winge

Director: Joachim Trier

Love, insanity, coming of age, humour… So is it a drama, a comedy or a tragic love story? Well it’s neither and it’s all of the above all at the same time!

Covering the intersected lives of two young aspiring writers in Norway, one shockingly easily successful but at a tragic cost, the other struggling and in his own way also paying an equally tragic albeit different price, all in the pursuit of their ambitions to write and be published. Chronicling their lives and the lives of the friends that they interact with as they go through their daily doses of self-evolvement, allowing the viewer to experience a buffet of emotions served up in a surprisingly logical series of events that ultimately lead to a refreshingly unique conclusion.

Director Joachim Trier acquits himself very well here, managing to handle a mixed bag of tones in a film that could be described as a hybrid of genres yet still managing to invoke empathy for its at times seriously flawed yet basically very much human characters. He is greatly helped along with his achievement by a collection of very good performances across the board.

This film might not exactly blow up everyone’s skirt as it refuses to allow itself to be chained down to any particular genre and as such may not suit every viewer’s palette! Definitely for those who are after something fresh yet still emotionally provoking, particularly in the ways that different relationships evolve as the people involved learn more about life and themselves.

An amazingly cohesive effort for a first time director!

4 out of 6 stars