Norwegian film O’Horten opens in Los Angeles and New York

Hans-Jorgan Osnes/Sony Pictures Classics

Odd Horten. Photo: Hans-Jorgan Osnes/Sony Pictures Classics

The Norwegian movie O’Horten opened on Friday May 22 in New York and Los Angeles. Both New York Times and Los Angeles Times have given the movie raving reviews.

Odd Horten has spent his whole working life as a train engineer on the Bergen line. He will make one last journey over the mountain before he retires. But when the train leaves the station without Horten on board, he realizes that the remainder of the journey will take place without printed timetables and familiar stations. Odd Horten has retired, and the platform does not feel like a safe place to remain. O’Horten is a melancholy comedy about engineer Odd Horten’s first arduous days and nights en route from his working life to his post-retirement existence. Through warmly humorous and absurd situations, we become acquainted with the somewhat timid Horten. This portrait of him becomes a captivating depiction of an elderly man losing his sense of direction – and refinding it.

The New York Times has given the film four stars and writes: “O’Horten is about frustration, patience, kindness and the wildness that lurks in even the calmest hearts” and the calls the film “Enjoyably Engineered” and a “masterpiece”. The Los Angeles Times writes: “this is a gentle comedy, both funny and melancholy, about a timid soul who discovers the necessity of embracing life in all its absurdity and unlooked-for joy”.

O’Horten is written, directed and produced by Bent Hamer from Sandefjord, Norway. Hamer’s films have been distributed in more than 40 countries, they have participated in more than 80 film festivals around the world and have won him some 30 prizes. In 2004 his quirky comedy drama “Kitchen Stories” was the official Norwegian entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. The movie is set in Norway in the 1950s. Reviewers called the comedy “surprisingly touching” and “delightful”.

View showtimes of O’Horten on

Read interview with Bent Hamar on and review on

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.