Hans-Jorgan Osnes
Lisa Schwarzbaum
June 03, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

O'Horten

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
90 minutes
Wide Release Date
05/15/09
performer
Baard Owe
director
Bent Hamer
author
Bent Hamer
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it an B+

On the evening of his retirement as a train engineer, dour sixtysomething Norwegian bachelor Odd Horten (Buster Keaton-ish Baard Owe) learns to live life without a timetable. And since O’Horten is the creation of absurdist Bent Hamer (Kitchen Stories), a master of droll melancholy, Odd’s life is just as peculiar as his name. (For one thing, he finds himself in a car driven by a drunken, blindfolded diplomat, played by Espen Skjonberg.) Like fellow poker-faced Scandinavian filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki, Hamer specializes in dry humor born of long, dark nights. Jack Nicholson’s dyspeptic retiree in About Schmidt would no doubt identify with O’Horten‘s entertaining pain. B+

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