Sunday, December 14, 2008

The One That Slipped In

Just as I'm beginning to compile my Top Ten Films of the Year, I took a break to gander at director/co-writer Joachim Trier's Norwegian import, "Reprise," a disarming meditation on the romanticism of youth and its bittersweet departure. And you can bet I'm adding it to my list.

Originally released in Norway in 2006, the film made its way stateside this past summer. It tells of two young authors, both of them initially bursting with the hunger to write and to succeed, and both of their lives taking on vastly different shapes even as they remain parallel with one another. The tack-sharp and observant script delicately weaves together what is, what might have been, and what will never be for these men. The style is free-flowing and it imbues the story with a breath of life that's just as palpable as the affirmations of "Slumdog Millionaire."

I was glued to this film as I glided through it, invigorated by each turn (and, yes, Roger Ebert, even each countdown). "Reprise" is a valentine and a must-see for writers every where, especially young ones, and it's one of the few movies of the year that made me feel smarter as I watched it. It's classic and evocative - much has been made of its French New Wave sensibilities - yet blazingly and refreshingly original (Hey, Diablo Cody - and everyone else, THIS is what hip really looks and sounds like). Beautifully shot, beautifully cut, beautifully penned, and beautifully played, it's a cumulative work of art. Now, where's the awards attention?

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