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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2008-05-19 - 10:23 a.m.

As discussed here previously, it is very difficult to make a credible movie about musicians. It is even harder, I think, to make a movie about novelists, because the excitement of writing (and reading) can elude the camera.

That's why the film Reprise is such a pure delight--new director Joachim Trier really gets it right.

It is the dual story of two young Norwegian fiction writers who support each other through success, failure, breakdowns, and breakups, with a minimum of rivalry and all the intense, romantic passion that post-adolescent friendships inspire.

Trier plays with time, dialogue, fast cuts, slow motion, voice-over, and a whole arsenal of tricks that establish intimacy and rapport almost immediately, and yet he allows the story to unfold at a leisurely and, yes, novelistic pace.

The performances are excellent--especially Espen Klouman-Hoiner as the seemingly less successful of the two friends. Possessed of blandly handsome features and a breezy demeanor (think: Norwegian Hugh Grant), he is required to visit a wide range of emotions here, and he hits it exactly right at each point.

I was really struck by the way Trier controls the tone of the film, balancing heavy and light, humor and sorrow, without ever reaching for easy laughs or emo sentimentality.

This'un is a contender for IHoP Movie Top Ten for 2008!

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