Sunday, February 22, 2009

Muriels: Best Picture, 35th Place

Reprise (32 points/3 votes)

Reprise, the debut film from Norwegian Writer/Director Joachim Trier, tells the story of two young writers who submit their debut novels on the same day then travel significantly different paths to literary success. Trier himself described Reprise as ‘a scrapbook film,’ and that proves to be an accurate description as right from the opening frame the film uses still photographs, a narrator and an experimental but effective past, present, future present storytelling structure that never fully defines reality from fantasy or reminiscence. Trier’s narrative approach seems intent on challenging viewer’s perceptions. This is perhaps best seen in a particularly potent sequence where one of the young authors tries to recreate a perfect trip to Paris with his now estranged girlfriend that blends the two experiences together with images from both trips overlaid with similarly blurred conversations and rambling thoughts from inside the character’s heads.

“I was consistently impressed by the film’s ability to balance some very heavy subject matter (bi-polar disease, suicide) with the kind of knowing humor that would be necessary for people in such situations to move past these darker issues and continue on with their lives. Reprise utilizes a fairly large cast of young, mostly unprofessional actors who feel right at home in these parts and their comfort level is a big part of why this film works as well as it does. The film closes on an open ended note of optimism that feels neither corny nor contrived, leaving the viewer with glimpses of what the future may hold for these very relatable characters. Vibrant, inventive and resonant - Reprise was for me the rare film that was able to accurately capture a moment in time but remain relevant and infinitely re-watchable because of its honest portrayals and boundless creativity.” ~ Bryan Whitefield (click Bryan's name for his interview with director Joachim Trier)

1 comment:

Kza said...

I was familiar with this title as a Muriel-eligible flick, but film-viewing fatigue got to me so I never got around to it. Your description of it makes it sound friggin' awesome. I'll definitely have to get to it sometime.