I finally caught up with Joachim Trier’s artful, Norwegian coming-of-age film Reprise. It’s not as though I hadn’t multiple opportunities over the years to see what is ostensibly a “new release” in America. The film premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the summer of 2006 and made its way to fests around the globe, including a much-lauded stop at New Directors/New Films in the spring of 2007. Finally, it’s in U.S. theaters, thanks to Miramax (and producer Scott Rudin). Trier proves himself to be a fantastic talent to watch in this first feature. It’s a pretty simple premise: two life-long friends battle it out over their artistic ambitions to be great authors. Mental illness, romance, and Oslo get in the way.
Trier’s quick-witted and textured approach aren’t entirely fresh but very entertaining. He likes to utilize the quiet in moments, while also taking one scene’s audio and laying it under a separate, ambient scene. Or, he cuts through space and time with ease, telegraphing a complex story with montages and voice-over. It feels like someone raised on the gospel of Paul Thomas Anderson, Danny Boyle, and Martin Scorsese.