FILM NOTE: Finland’s delicate, deep and droll ‘Fallen Leaves’ up for Oscar


A very affecting movie is Finland’s official entry for Best International Feature at the upcoming 96th Academy Awards, FALLEN LEAVES.

In his seventeenth feature film, Director/Auteur Aki Kaurismäki, a master of distanced and deadpanned but ultimately humanistic storytelling, shines a light on working-class people struggling to live with dignity in a world set up to strip them of it.

Two loose cogs (Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen) randomly meet and find themselves connecting in the deepest possible way. That’s the simple plot and it’s so touching to watch two ace Finnish actors inhabit it. Above you see the duo on a squirm-worthy dinner date eating non-designer food and talking only when there is actually something to say. That’s why I find FALLEN LEAVES, from an American perspective, refreshingly “foreign.” Recommended.

Fallen Leaves | American Cinematheque at Los Feliz 3 Theater | Dec 8 – 13

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