Joachim Trier | 2006 | ★★★½
Through career crises, relationship break-ups, and mental illness, Trier’s promising feature debut examines the enduring friendship of a pair of aspiring, twenty-something writers, as their romantic ideas of literary success slowly begin to wane in the face of life’s twists and turns. Mirroring its protagonists’ own emotional states, the film’s style and form begins all quick, brash, and kinetic, before slowing down to something of a more solemn pace, with quixotic, youthful vigour giving way to earnestness and regret. Likewise, its satirical points about class and sex only gradually make themselves known, as the fates of its (largely) wealthy characters play themselves out, slowly giving weight and subtext to its larky, seemingly good-natured early scenes. Fine photography, excellent characterisation, credible performances, innovative structuring, and insightful writing combine to deceptively moving effect.