While not necessarily Joachim Trier’s best work, Thelma is eminently watchable and equally as mysterious. This attribute rests on the backs of its two breakthrough performers, Eili Harboe as the eponymous Thelma, but also Kaya Wilkins, who stuns as Anja. The real question is whether this film, Norway’s entry into the Oscars for Best Foreign Film, will be seen by enough people and sustain enough momentum to potentially savour Academy recognition. It certainly should be considered for the running.
The story is a tough one to describe, but let’s just say that Thelma possesses strange powers, (I thought of Princess Elsa, even though there is very little of a comparison to be made). Her parents are devout, and this religiosity may have aggravated or even caused her condition, and certainly the parents seem like bad people. Interestingly, they may not be the villains of the film, though while I read them as such, the relationship between Thelma and Anja is clearly helping to find the path to goodness.
Here’s hoping the Academy recognizes the sensual power of Thelma. I sure did.