Perennial party-goer Andreas is released from a drug clinic for one day so he can return to Oslo to meet his sister and interview for a job. This day off is an opportunity for him to see if he can change at all. A drama about an attempt to restart life in a single day at the end of summer, Oslo, August 31st is the second part of Norwegian director Joachim Trier's Oslo trilogy that also features his debut Reprise and the final chapter, The Worst Person in the World.
As Andreas moves through the quiet, sunlit city and meets people from his past—friends, lovers, and enemies—what he sees in their gaze is a reflection of the injuries he inflicted on himself. Stigmatized even within progressive Norwegian society, drug addiction is both a habitual “reflex” for the protagonist (who spent six years with this disease) and a nightmare that won’t go away. Andreas does not entirely believe that he will be able to cope with his illness and receive the forgiveness of his loved ones for involving them in this tragedy.
When creating the script, Trier drew on Frenchman Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel Will O’ the Wisp, which was previously adapted for the screen by Louis Malle (The Fire Within, 1963). The main character, the war-broken swashbuckler Alain Leroy, takes a farewell walk around Paris, convinced both that his idle life was completely empty and that he no longer has the strength to start anew. Almost fifty years later, this story of painful solitude and restlessness is repeated in Oslo. The picture premiered internationally in the Un Certain Regard program of the 64th Cannes Film Festival (2011).
The film will be screened in Norwegian and English with Russian subtitles.
Oslo, August 31st
Dir. Joachim Trier
Norway, Denmark, Sweden, 2011. 95 min. 18+