June 14th, Movie 15
Today’s June swoon film is another International film that received a lot of love around Oscar time, though it was not a winner in the categories. This is listed as a romantic black comedy-drama directed by Joachim Trier.
Julie (Renate Reinsve) was a medical student in Oslo where she met and began a relationship with comic book artist, Aksel Willman (Anders Danielsen Lie), which became serious. However, once she met another man Eivind (Herbert Nordrum) at a wedding reception that she crashed, she began to wonder about her relationship with Aksel and she began doubting what she was feeling.
Julie decided to leave Aksel and she moved in with Eivind, who broke off his own relationship.
There is a lot going on in this story and the characters are extremely well developed and the film is beautifully shot. There are complex ideas with the film, dealing with Julie and her feelings of rejection by her father. The performances were all top notch, especially Renate Reinsve, who portrayed Julie’s fears and uncertainties so perfectly. I also want to shout out Anders Danielsen Lie, whose turn as Aksel is exceptional and deep. He balances out Julie, despite the fact that she cannot see it or feel it.
The only drawback to the film is that is is achingly sad, bordering on depressing. There is so little joy in the life of these characters and when the joy shows up, it is squashed by the maudlin characters and the internal strife working against them. I found it difficult to watch because of the tone of the film, wishing for something more fulfilling in the story.
It is a well crafted film that is a difficult watch. There are great performances that make it even more challenging to view.