O'Horten Review

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The appearance of peppy pensioner Espen helps seize the day for retired train driver Bård, and sparks a series of life-changing adventures.


Enthralled by tracks and timetables, Norwegian train driver Bård Owe is daunted by the prospect of retirement before peppy pensioner Espen Skjønberg whisks him on a late-life rite of passage. With imagery that opens a world of wonder that Owe had scarcely noticed while chugging along dutifully, this is an episodic charmer that owes much to Jacques Tati and Roy Andersson. Whether ski-jumping, skinny-dipping or breaking-and-entering, Owe is deadpan, as the magnitude of these experiences dawns on him. Bent Hamer doesn’t have anything particularly new to say about growing old disgracefully, but the surrealism of the humour is irresistible.

A surrealistic Scandinavian jaunt to warm the coldest heart.