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Foreign Film - Norway - O'Horten

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Baard Owe
Written and directed by Bent Hamer
Norway 2007
Sony Pictures Classics 2009
90 minutes

O’Horten is a forein film DVD from Norway. The main character is named Odd (pronounced “Ode”) but this sure is an odd movie. The trailer for this Sony Classic Pictures Classic promised a comedy but O’Horten is not that. It is also not quite a drama, and not quite anything. If you like quiet, character based foreign movies, O’Horten might please. Otherwise it is a coin toss,

There is not doubt O’Horten is very well made and well acted. The entire movie rests on Baard Owe’s (Odd Horten) shoulders and he does a great job, There is the odd secondary character Odd meets but they are just there as character definers.

It is less certain this foreign film DVD engages the viewer. This is a moody movie about a train engineer that starts on the next to last day of his retirement. Stuff happens though little of it is really dramatic and more ordinary moments in an ordinary life. There is the occasional slightly comic scene, especially near the end of the movie, but this is not a funny movie.

Art house film fans will probably figure out this film from Norway is about a man who led a very scheduled life and is now faced with the uncertainty of having nothing to do and no particular time to do it at. It is no coincidence of course the movie is set in winter.

This is an allegorical foreign film. I just did not get some of the allegories.

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