Out Stealing Horses
Directed by: Hans Petter Moland
Norway/Sweden/Denmark, 2019, 123m
In Norwegian and Swedish with English Subtitles
A mature and thoughtful character-driven drama, Out Stealing Horses is an exceptional film and unforgettable experience: a meditation on life, loss, and searching. It’s 1999, and after 40 years, aging but robust widower Trond returns from Sweden to Norway, where in 1948 he spent a boyhood summer with his father. Trond lives in his head, maintaining a quiet and solitary life with only a dog for a companion, as he relives those memories. What man wouldn’t remember the practical father he adored, who shared rugged experiences and advice? But beyond his idyllic revery looms tragic loss and a nagging doubt whether Trond has played the lead in his own life. Such is the impact these memories make, in a film attuned to nature and landscape. The title refers to riding “found” horses, and these scenes are ethereal and visually mesmerizing, both immersive and visceral, capturing the overwhelming beauty of youth. Veteran actor Stellan Skarsgård all but disappears into his reticent character, in a quiet but powerful performance that resonates through his narration. Based on Per Pettersen’s acclaimed novel, this outstanding adaptation won five Norwegian Oscars (“Amandas”) including Best Picture, Director, and Cinematography.