It can be hard to too get excited about the Oscars, but at least the international category at tomorrow’s ceremony is particularly interesting this year, with clubhouse leader Drive My Car (stream on BFI, Curzon), from Japan, facing groundbreaking Danish animated documentary Flee (Curzon). Also in with a shout is “instant classic” The Worst Person in the World, now in UK cinemas.
God loves a Trier
The Oslo-set film from Joachim Trier is his first fiction feature since 2017’s well-regarded supernatural thriller Thelma. In 2018, with his brother Emil, he made the documentary The Other Munch. Merging brooding Norwegian sensibilities new and old, it followed the writer Karl Ove Knausgård as he curated an exhibition of Edvard Munch paintings at the Munch museum (no pressure, Karl!).
Though Munch and Vincent van Gogh never met, both “felt the world crying out to express itself in colours”, according to the Guardian’s Jonathan Jones, writing when their work was hung together in Amsterdam in 2015. Lately there have been – arguably crass – attempts to bring Van Gogh’s art to life at confusingly competing immersive experiences seemingly everywhere, including London, Bristol, York, Leicester and Edinburgh.
Outsized artist/director Julian Schnabel rendered Van Gogh with At Eternity’s Gate, starring Willem Dafoe as the man himself. (For a further rabbit hole detour, take a look at Schnabel’s enjoyably wild Manhattan home Palazzo Chupi.) Featuring in a small role was Lolita Chammah, daughter of French actor Isabelle Huppert. Staying in an artist’s light, they both have roles in the forthcoming Caravaggio’s Shadow.
All roads lead to Oslo
Huppert has worked with every provocateur, auteur and genius to bounce from the Croisette to the Oscars. In 2015 she appeared in Joachim Trier’s underwhelming English-language debut, Louder Than Bombs. Stick instead with his Oslo trilogy: Reprise is on Netflix; Oslo, August 31st can be rented, with The Worst Person in the World the final part. There, it’s hard not to be impressed by lead Renate Reinsve – the toast of Cannes last year. “A star is born,” the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw declared; “I puked,” Reinsve said.