The Bothersome Man
Evidently, Norwegians can take a joke, as this deadpan satire of the nation's humorless affect grossed big in its homeland after bowing last year in Cannes. Think of it as a screwball Invasionwittier at least than the Nicole Kidman version (which, alas, isn't saying much). Scruffy thirtysomething Andreas (Trond Fausa Aurv) stands on a train platform watching a body-snatched man and woman engaged in dispassionate face-sucking, leaps onto the tracks in an apparent effort to stop the pain, then awakens to a sterile, emotionless afterlife that could easily pass for stereotypical Oslo. Here, our hero's accounting-firm colleagues spend lunch hours gazing longingly at an Ikea catalog and discussing the subtle nuances of functional minimalism. Andreas starts seeing an interior designer (what else?), trades her for a marginally less insipid woman, and continues to endure brain-dead conversation, boring sex, and flavorless food: Welcome to Scandinavia. Though the image of a suicide victim impaled on a fence and other periodic snippets of gore eventually steer the quirks into darker territory, director Jens Lien (Jonny Vang) mostly favors the clean and bland, succumbing to much of the same pod-person impassivity that the movie purports to critique.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful
- The Subject of 'Butterfly Girl' Pushes Herself to Take Chances Despite the Pain