May 23, 2008
Cannes. O' Horten."The 'O' stands for Odd, which is a Norwegian male first name. And, in the most affectionate sense, this film is 'odd,'" writes Duane Byrge in the Hollywood Reporter. "It's also outstanding." "Bent Hamer's unique blend of absurdist humour and aching melancholy has never worked better than in O' Horten [site]," writes Mike Goodridge in Screen Daily. "Hamer, who scored a minor international ripple with his first English language venture Factotum in 2005, is nevertheless more comfortable working in his native Norwegian and employing his wonderfully deadpan sense of comedy which is somewhere between Aki Kaurismäki and Monty Python. Central to O' Horten's success is Baard Owe, a veteran Norwegian actor based in Copenhagen who has worked with everyone from Carl Theodor Dreyer to Lars Von Trier (most memorably as Dr Bondo in The Kingdom series)." "Although the bittersweet, episodic tale of an ultra-dedicated locomotive engineer uneasily transitioning into retirement lacks the fully developed characters and tightly constructed narrative of his more poignant and substantial Kitchen Stories, it nevertheless provides a warm and gently humorous divertissement that should be appreciated by niche arthouse auds worldwide," writes Alissa Simon in Variety. The Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan talks with Hamer. Un Certain Regard. Update, 5/29: James Rocchi at Cinematical: "Hamer's earlier films had a finely-tuned capacity for observation, perhaps best demonstrated in Eggs (1995) and Kitchen Stories (2003); Hamer's English-language debut, Factotum (2005), took the boozy, woozy prose of Charles Bukowski and put a little air and space in it, turning the alcohol-fueled anger of Bukowski's words which, on the page, hit like a shot of cheap whiskey and turning them into something smoother and finer with the smooth burn of regret going down. In O'Horten, Hamer's back in Norway, and still crafting careful, considered portraits of day to day life, but ones which nonetheless have a deadpan comedy to them, a careful and humane sense of the absurd."
Coverage of the coverage: Cannes 08. Last year: Cannes @ 60. And Cannes 06.
Posted by dwhudson at May 23, 2008 11:30 AM