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Hawaii, Oslo2004

  • 3.8
Northern European cinema heats up with this fresh look at a group of chilled Norwegians about to break down on the hottest day of the year. Proclaimed by Variety as "one of the best Norwegian films made in many years," this cool update of Robert Altman's SHORT CUTS follows several strangers interconnecting during one eventful Oslo night. A male nurse believes he can sense the future (as long as he’s asleep) while a suicidal former pop star pines for the past. Hawaii (the bar) is the local Oslo dive where two long-lost lovers swear to meet to fulfill their childhood amore; Hawaii (the state) is also the place where one lover's brother dreams of being if he can ever get out of jail. Meanwhile, a grief-stricken married couple dream of a desperate trip to the United States to get their dying child to a hospital that could save his life. Through the heat of a strange Oslo summer, these characters run, bike and fall, some ready to die while others are anxious to truly live. Director Eric Poppe keeps their stories moving briskly through a gorgeous-looking Oslo, aided by the moody, stylized urban imagery of cinematographer Ulf Brantas. Norway has never looked so good, nor Northern Europeans so love-struck. - Jason Sanders

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Erik Poppe's Hawaii, Oslo (2004) is a very advanced, and very sophisticated example of Cinematic Art. In fact, it is one of the very best films that I have ever viewed.

The technical side of the film, the cinematography, the editing, and the lighting is quite remarkable. It all goes not only to make this film very visually beautiful, but is done in a way to effectively interface with the characters, and the storyline itself, as to enhance the dramatic qualities of the film as well.

The character selection, and the storyline is very complex, and thought provoking. The storyline involves the lives of a small number of people in Oslo, Norway, and the storyline spans just one calendar day. But in the course of that day, we see this group of people, many of whom never even knew each other before this day began, forming new relationships, ending other relationships, and renewing yet other relationships. All this happens in a spatial / temporal matrix where the characters in this group cross paths, both literally and figuratively speaking, through the course of the day. The storyline does consist of a good dose of "coincidence", some of which does strain credulity . Yet Poppe is even able to make the most unlikely "coincidences" in this storyline believable through a well written, well thought out screenplay, effective dramatic performances by the whole cast, and with effective direction.

Overall, in this film Erik Poppe displays a very deep and complex artistic vision, an artistic vision that he quite effectively brings to a tangible realization in a remarkable display of filmmaking ability.

20 Stars !!!

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