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May 05, 2008

Reprise

Reprise Norwegian auteur Joachim Trier isn’t a close relative of Lars von Trier, but his debut feature film bares the characteristics of an ambitious if overreaching young filmmaker taunting his elders to scold him for his audacity. Pained and overwrought, the story involves the trajectories of two college-aged best friend writers attempting to get on Oslo’s literary map with novels that put their modern angst in perspective. Flashbacks and self-reflexive narration follow Erik (played by Espen Klouman Hoiner) and and Phillip (played by Anders Danielsen Lie) after sending their manuscripts off to agents. Manic-depressive Philip is the first to be published but attempts suicide over a life that has given him too much too soon. A stint in a mental hospital leaves Philip a washed-up romantic trying to win back the trust of his girlfriend Kari, while Erik does the heavy lifting of developing his voice as a writer. Precious and ponderous, "Reprise" is the film that Joachim Trier needed to get out of his system so that he can get on with the business of making films.

Rated R, 105 mins. (C) (Two Stars)

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