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The moment the train leaves the station without engineer Odd Horten (Bard Owe) aboard, he realizes the path ahead is a journey without printed timetables and well-known stations. Horten has been forced to retire after 40 years of traveling a very stable rail, and the platform does not feel like a safe place anymore. His orderly, solitary existence is about to give way to a future of unlikely adventures and puzzling dilemmas: will Horten ever travel by plane? Will he finally sell his prized boat? How does Horten end up in a pair of women's red high-heeled shoes? Will he survive a nighttime drive with a blindfolded man at the wheel? O'HORTEN is Bent Hamer's wonderfully skewed view of the human condition, and gives us that somewhat absurdist vision with great warmth, a little melancholy and universal appeal.
Odd Horten is a neat, meticulous, pipe-smoking train conductor, winding up 40 years of service for the Norwegian railways. O'Horten poses the following question: When a man's life has been determined by timetables and clearly-defined journeys along narrow tracks, how does he spend his free hours? Director Bent Hamer provides the answer in this droll comedy, which follows Odd Horten about his final work shifts and then into the uncertain world of retirement. Scandinavian comedies tend toward the deadpan and the melancholic, and Hamer (whose Kitchen Stories was a similarly wonderful exercise) clearly likes working in that vein. It helps that lead actor Baard Owe perfectly fits this style: if Odd Horten is ever troubled or excited by much, it rarely registers across Owe's leathery, imperturbable face. Horten meets the dilemma of buying a new pipe with the same placid curiosity he brings to meeting a stranger who invites him to his home and proposes they test the stranger's theory that he can drive a car with his eyes closed. Why not? Hamer's poker-faced approach is especially useful because it disguises an old-fashioned story of a regimented man waking up to flexibility in the winter of his life, a possibly sentimental theme given a brisk treatment. Odd Horten wouldn't have it any other way. --Robert Horton
Stills from O’Horten (Click for larger image)
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This was a gallant attempt at a modernist take on life-change in the Scandanavian mind. It challenges one to construct both the personality of a virtual flat-line individual and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joetherob
I'm a filmmaker. This is a great film about getting older and transitioning in life. Beautiful visuals and subtle storytelling with a great use of humor. Love this film.Published 3 months ago by yaw
Odd Horton is turning 67, The Norwegian National Railroad's mandatory retirement age. What is next for him, now? Read morePublished 5 months ago by Cat
A very moving and understated film. One comes to love the train engineer. It is perfect for adventurous movie lovers--a little out of the ordinary.Published 9 months ago by Pym Mumford
Dvd was very funny😃 although it was in subtitles it was really funny!Published 9 months ago by Spicegrl70
i loved it ! unique story and characters.i liked the music as well.Published 12 months ago by mr john e.