06 October 2009


I'm not even sure I can explain why I liked this movie so much. There's something that's just so fantastically even-tempered about it. It has this wonderful matter-of-fact presentation of the plot line, treating everything from the most mundane to the most bizarre events without any discernible shift in tone that is just wonderful. It's the kind of film where you want to tell a person - just watch it, I can't explain.

The movie is vaguely about a guy named Odd Horten who has just retired from his job. Netflix tries to add some deeper storyline of "he decides to change his daily routine" or some shit, but no. That's not the point. There is arguably a kind of subtle development in that direction, but what's great about the movie is that it's precisely that - subtle. It's also one of the few films I can think of (No Country for Old Men is the other one that comes to mind) that has little blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments that aren't instrumental to the plot, but are just lovely bits of atmosphere. For instance, when Horten is in a shop, a man leaves and as he's walking by the window, slips and falls. This happened so quickly that I actually had to rewind the movie to make sure I didn't imagine it. It's a nice, quirky touch, one of several, and it's really neat.

You could certainly read into the even-temperedness paired with the quirky characters and see it as a kind of manifesto about being nonjudgemental and embracing humanity in all its strange diverse forms, or being alive to the possibility for wonder in the world, but honestly, I think the movie's charm is in being a sort of plain, straight-forward day-in-the-life piece of joy.

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