O'Hortenby Scott Foundas
The premise of this gentle existential farce from Norwegian director Bent Hamer is little more than an excuse for a series of deadpan vignettes about love, death and the meaning of life. Forced into age-mandated retirement, longtime train engineer Odd Horten (Baard Owe) quite literally goes off the rails and spends most of the movie dazedly wandering the wintry streets of Oslo, searching a mazelike airport for a prospective buyer for his boat, chatting up the recently widowed proprietress of a tobacco shop, and — in the film's loveliest sequence — riding shotgun with an avuncular old drunkard who prides himself on the ability to drive blindfolded. Above all, Horten seeks a sense of purpose. The images, lit by the cameraman John Christian Rosenlund, have the incandescent glow of storybook illustrations. The movie, on its own modest terms, satisfies greatly.