Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

O'Horten 2007

Directed by Robert Hamer

A Norwegian bachelor faces retirement in this charming comedy, easily the best-loved film to debut at Cannes this year. "A small wonder... luminous and deliciously funny." — LA Times

France / Germany / Norway In Norwegian with English subtitles
91 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


John Christian Rosenlund


Pål Gengenbach
Silje Nortseth


John Erik Kaada


Bård Owe
Ghita Nørby
Espen Skjønberg
Bjørn Floberg
Henny Moan
Bjarte Hjelmeland


Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2008


"As always with Cannes, some of the most satisfying films were not found in the official competition. Perhaps the most out and out enjoyable was Bent Hamer‘s small wonder, the luminous and deliciously funny O‘Horten, a fine successor to an earlier Hamer creation, the knockout Kitchen Stories. The Horten of the story is a stolid, pipe-smoking Norwegian train engineer whose first name is Odd. Forced to retire at 67, Odd enters into a series of serendipitous adventures that show him the necessity as well as the absurdity of embracing life. ‘If you think the thought, it is possible to do anything,‘ Hamer says. ‘It‘s never too late.‘" — Kenneth Turan, LA Times

"Living alone and decidedly frugal, Odd is a man of restraint and kindness. He dutifully visits his elderly and senile mother and is a Good Samaritan. Sometimes his goodness gets him into misadventures, most comically when he rescues an inebriated burgher from the streets and ends up on a blind-drive through icy Oslo. In filmmaker Bent Hamer‘s perceptive scenario, we see the conflicts that a man who has lived by a strict schedule and life of discipline faces when he is confronted by the freedom of retirement. In Odd‘s case, retirement is a dubious gift and a sharp challenge: Adaptation is not easy. In this big-small story, we appreciate that Odd is on a personal quest more harrowing and acute than faced by the common superhero. In short, he must overcome his old ways and re-shape himself. Can this old dog learn new tricks? Enlivened with droll wit and framed with robust sensitivity, O‘Horten is an amusing and entrancing personal portrait." — Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter