Hawaii, Oslo

Hawaii, Oslo

DVD - 2006 | Norwegian
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Hawaii, Oslo is the story of a handful of desperate people whose paths cross on the hottest day of the year in Oslo. Frode and Milla have their first child, but learn he will not live long without an expensive operation they cannot afford. Bobbie-Pop is a faded singer who tries to commit suicide. Leon is an institutionalized mental patient, who hopes to keep a 10-year-old date on his birthday with his teenage sweetheart. Leon's brother, Trygve, gets a weekend leave from prison to be with Leon on his birthday, but plans on using the furlough to escape. Overseeing Leon and protecting him is his guardian angel Vidar, Leon's best buddy at the institution, who sees things no one else can see, and who may be able to save everyone--except himself.
Publisher: [Fair Lawn, N.J.] : Film Movement, 2006.
ISBN: 9781419394843
Branch Call Number: DVD HAWA OSL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (124 min.) : sd., color ; 4 3/4 in.


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Jan 27, 2015

What Erik Poppe’s multi-character ensemble piece lacks in discipline it more than makes up for in presentation. On the mean streets of Oslo during the hottest day of the year we are introduced to a handful of strangers, among them a couple whose newborn son is dying, an ambulance attendant who becomes obsessed with a suicidal woman, a pair of young delinquents on the run, a violent convict, and an institutionalized young man still obsessed with his childhood sweetheart. Each character is desperately grasping at a personal dream which hovers just beyond their reach, much like the tropical images that seem to adorn every wall. Tying the individual stories together are an enigmatic newspaper girl and Vidar, a counsellor-cum-guardian angel who tries to use his sleep-induced visions of the future to nudge each person in the proper direction. In the course of a single night some dreams will be realized while others will be lost forever, and redemption will come in the form of one final sacrifice. With its suspiciously convenient coincidences and heavy angelic symbolism there is certainly enough to criticize here. Furthermore, as a narrative bridge between the separate tales Vidar and the young girl prove to be a rather ponderous plot device at times rendering some of the dramatic links weak and contrived. So why can’t I simply dismiss it as nothing more than a Scandinavian version of Touched By An Angel? First off the cast is magnificent; there is a synergy between them that results in performances that are both natural and engrossing. Secondly, the script manages to avoid most of the saccharine pitfalls one would expect and instead delivers a well-paced and captivating composite of lives in chaos. And finally, the spare soundtrack of strings and piano chords compliments the film’s low-keyed delivery perfectly. A deeply felt work which must be taken at face value.

Apr 02, 2013

This is an interesting film from Norway, a human drama of several people crossing their paths. These people come from very different background and most have their share of large problems. It is a film of little action and no sex, but gets my attention as I care about the characters. Recommended but you have to know you are heading to an arthouse piece.


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