O' Horten review

A retired train driver tries to figure out what to do with his free time

The hero of Bent Factotum Hamer’s yarn is called Odd, which proves to be pretty apt.

He’s spent his life driving trains between Oslo and Bergen; now he’s 67, due to retire, and what’s he to do with the rest of his life? Get himself involved with a variety of quietly eccentric characters, that’s what.

This is downbeat, deadpan humour, very Scandinavian – Kaurismäkilite, if you like – though Odd himself, as played by the gangling Bård Owe, has something of Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot about him, not least when he haplessly tries to locate a friend at Oslo airport. A film of dour but appealing charm.

Philip Kemp

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