Sometimes the opening of a movie can immediately set the tone and capture your attention. Oslo, 31. august is one of those movies as the viewer is introduced to Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) as he is walking around Oslo into a forrest. It turns out that he is trying to commit suicide, jumping into the water holding a heavy rock. It doesn’t take long before you find out that he is a recovering drug addict. He is allowed to go to Oslo for a job interview and this movie follows him during that day.
As a viewer you know that Anders can give up on life any moment or have a relapse and start using drugs again. As Anders visits people he know you get to know him a bit better and find out that he is only shell of his former self. He has slowly become disconnected from the world around him and the movie really pushes that feeling as he watches other people having conversations about things which in the big scheme of things are useless. He watched them do their daily routines and part of him wants to get back into that life, which he tries, but he is struggling.
Director Joachim Trier paints a bleak picture that directly pulls at your heartstrings. As a viewer you understand the pain Anders is experiencing. Thanks to the great performance by Anders Danielsen Lie (who also is a doctor and a rock artist) the character is someone you wish you could help but know that if you would he could still slip away. A movie not to be missed.