Anders is a recovering drug addict in an Oslo rehab clinic. On the 30th August, he is given a day’s leave to attend a job interview in the city centre. After visiting his friend Thomas, he proceeds to his appointment. In the interview, he admits to being a drug addict and storms out. He then wanders the streets of Oslo for the rest of the day and night, meeting, and sometimes confronting, people from his past.
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This candidly remarkable film is not for everyone, but more than any movie in recent memory, deals honestly with the staggeringly powerful tentacles of addiction; a hunger that imprisons the body and more pivotally the mind.
"Anders" is granted a day in Oslo after ten months in rehabilitation; he is clean but terrified of unshackled freedom, the bane, angst of choice. Anders Danielsen Lie's breathtaking depiction of this brilliant, tortured soul will haunt you days after viewing; he is an aesthete, gaunt, an "El Greco" replica, blessed with a smile devastatingly, painfully poignant; peppered with pain, vulnerability.
His day in Oslo symbolizes, mirrors a reflection of his past experiences; his friends, lost love, memories of a life lived in the warmth, cocoon, haze of addiction, the fleeting invincibility, the rewards of obfuscating reality, the nightmare of waking to a world uninhabitable, without cocaine, heroin. The quiet, pristine orderly streets of Oslo in contrast to the tumultuous, chaotic psyche of Anders is a splash of genius from director, Joachim Trier.
"Oslo, August 31'" is one man's journey, searching, questioning but always realizing the answers hover at the very core of his being. An unforgettable day in Oslo, as the summer wanes and a 34-year-old Anders determines his fate.