“Out Stealing Horses” is an entertaining examination about memories and possesses an emotionally eloquent and stunning performance by the spectacular Stellan Skarsgård. Writer/director Hans Petter Moland delivers an amazing adaptation about memory loss and is a must watch!
Death doesn’t always define us, but how we cope with reality and meditate on life can greatly influence our existence. After the devastating death of his wife in an auto accident of 30+ years, 67-year-old Trond (Stellan Skarsgård) moves back to Norway living a life of seclusion. With the millennium fast approaching, Trond accepts his self-imposed isolation, but after meeting one of his neighbors Lars (Bjørn Floberg), Trond reflects on his life. As it turns out, they knew each when Trond turned 15 and a flurry of memories come flooding back.
Based on the bestselling novel by Per Petterson, “Out Stealing Horses” comes to life with a wonderful adaptation by Hans Petter Moland. Following up his Liam Neeson action thriller “Cold Pursuit,” Hans Petter Moland’s mesmerizing movie about memory hits all the right spots. Much like the elder Trond, you reflect on life and assess what was accomplished during your lifetime. The graceful drama cordially challenges the viewers to address the powerful moments in our lives and how sometimes it’s the simplest situations, which forever alter our lives whether or not we recognize it at the moment. Needless to say, Stellan Skarsgård’s pleasant performance should entice viewers to check out the film.
There are certain incredible international actors who will always pull me in and Stellan Skarsgård once again doesn’t disappoint. Although a strong supporting role, Stellan Skarsgård absolutely astonishes with a muted magnificent role that reels the viewer in with each passing frame. How Skarsgård doesn’t have an Oscar yet blows my mind. His counterpart, Jon Ranes, who plays the 15-year-old Trond, equally excites and entertains in a well-paced movie addressing internal & external conflicts. Spanning multiple decades with flashbacks and flashforwards, Trond’s traumatic timeline persists with an amazing supporting cast highlighted by Bjørn Floberg, Tobias Santelmann, Sjur Vatne Brean and Danica Curcic. It’s the devastating little moments that leave the greatest impressions.
One of the most gut-wrenching moments is when Trond wrestles with his deteriorating memory and trying to overcome his grief after nearly crashing his car similarly to the auto accident, which caused his wife’s death. Boldly trying to reassure and not blame himself for being in the driver’s seat, he mutters “I don’t feel guilt. Only loss.” Overall, it’s a profound, poetic journey in a fantastically fluid film with wonderful cinematography by Rasmus Videbæk. Tonally it’s like “The Mustang” meets “Kon Tiki” and a Lasse Hallström film balancing artsy attraction & mainstream appeal. In the end, it’s an entertaining emotional expedition about trekking down memory lane and recognizing the heartbreaking moments that create our most cherished memories.
3 out of 4 stars
“Out Stealing Horses” is currently in theaters and Video On Demand starting August 7th, 2020
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