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Oslo, August 31st

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Anders will soon complete his drug rehabilitation in the countryside. As part of the program, he is allowed to go into the city for a job interview. But he takes advantage of the leave and stays on in the city, drifting around, meeting people he hasn t seen in a long while. Thirty-four-year-old Anders is smart, handsome and from a good family, but deeply haunted by all the opportunities he has wasted, all the people he has let down. He is still relatively young, but feels his life in many ways is already over. For the remainder of the day and long into the night, the ghosts of past mistakes will wrestle with the chance of love, the possibility of a new life and the hope to see some future by morning.

In Norwegian with English Subtitles


Remarkable! Compelling! Gripping! --Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Amazing! --Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

Outstanding! --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava
  • Directors: Joachim Trier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2013
"Oslo, August 31st" (2011 release from Norway; 95 min.) brings the story of Anders (played by Anders Danielsen Lie), a 34 yr. old recovering drug addict. As the movie opens, we see Anders spending time in the drug rehab center, and receiving the word that he is allowed an evening out from the rehab center in order to travel to Oslo for a job interview. Anders takes the opportunity to reconnect with friends and acquaintances from years ago. One of his best friends, now married with two young children, gets Anders to open up. At the end of the conversation, Anders concludes "Everything will get better", but after a short pause he adds "Except that it won't". How will the job interview pan out? Can Anders make amends with some of his (girl)friends from the past? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, this is a bleak movie, there is no other way to put it. Without telling you how it all ends, I am not giving away anything when I say that the main character is continuously struggling to keep his head clear and forging a way forward in his life. Second, please note that much of the movie seems to be underlit for some reason. Maybe this was the intent of the director, an "artistic near-darkeness" of sorts. Third, the movie showcases Oslo's architecture very nicely.

Bottom line: if you are in the mood for a jolly, light movie, by all means, save yourself the trouble and look for something else. If on the other hand you are in the mood for a quality foreign movie that has something meaningful to contribute in the drug dependency debate, you cannot go wrong with this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 22, 2012
As the late Amy Winehouse discovered, offers of a visit to rehab often get received with a `no, no, no'. Well in this case Anders played by Anders Danielson-Lie, is in rehab, whilst he is successfully completing the course it is obvious that he is just going through the motions and sobriety, which can be depressing at the best of times, has left him feeling worthless. So he fills his pocket with stones and jumps in a lake - which sort of fails miserably.

After drying off he is given a pass to go to Oslo for a job interview and a day out, so off he goes. The problem is that he comes from Oslo and all his old `friends' are still there. They have moved on with their lives whereas he has been in a downward spiral of drug abuse for years. He doesn't even have good times to show as most of it was an intoxicated blur. The interview goes badly and Anders slowly goes back to what he knows will give him solace.

This is not the first film to say drugs are bad, it is not the first to deal with suicidal tendencies or a mid life crisis, but it is different all the same. Anders has a series of conversations with the old friends he meets and what at first seems to be the perfect marriage is soon revealed to be a marriage of endured compromise. Jobs that could appear glamorous are merely a means to an end. The revelation that the whole world is rubbish is probably not what Anders wants. But it is what he deserves, because this is all about life choices. He admits to being a spoilt brat and there are references to his caring parents throughout, especially as to how much he has cost them.

He is very hard to like as a person, but it is a credit to director Joachim Trier that he still manages to engage us with someone who is a selfish drug user and dealer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BowedBookshelf on February 24, 2013
Verified Purchase
Oslo never looked as beautiful as on a summer day in August. We follow an addict as he contemplates his past and his future with the knowledge that his addiction is inescapable. As he talks with a friend we are allowed to see the depth of his self-loathing, and we are allowed inside his past with his family as he lies dreaming in the warm sun at a park. We follow him through the despair of his version of August 31 and recognize that it takes many steps to make the decision he ultimately takes.

For friends and families of addicts of any sort, this is a painful reminder that the decision to live with an addiction is a lonely and ultimately individual one.

It is hard to assign stars to a film like this. I cannot say "I Loved It" simply because it churns the stomach and one's emotions. The film, however, is unimpeachable in what it has set out to accomplish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ConcupusAl on February 17, 2014
Oslo, August 31st

Anders is 34, heroin addict, and living in a rehab for the last ten months. He has been cut off from his family and friends but is approaching the end of his treatment so is allowed to go out from the facility in order to look for a job. In one day, Anders meets up with his old friends, realizes how disconnected he is from the realities of other people’s lives and how far behind he is in comparison to people he use to party with. Anders attempts to reconnect with an old ex but finds that in sobriety his connection to her is gone. He tries calling another old girlfriend whom he feels a stronger bond but she does not return his calls. His parents are in the process of selling their house in order to pay his monstrous debts, his sister sends her girlfriend to meet with him because the disappointments in the past makes her unable to deal with him at present. Anders listens to the conversations of the people around him at the park, in cafes, and on the street. He finds that he is even more on the outskirts and unable to relate. He attends a party thrown by old friends. He starts drinking. It quickly elevates to him stealing money from the checked coats. He buys heroine. The movie ends at the end of that day with him shooting up in his old house.

The movie is extremely powerful and as a person is dealing with personal demons of addiction I can relate. I find that the bleak outlook Anders has and his defeated attitude when attempting to acquire a job indicates how low he feels. The portrayal is honest and shows how difficult it is to stay sober regardless of the support from family and friends when such people do not understand how it is to be under the bubble of the disease.

Well done film!
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