When a meek, middle-aged janitor, accidentally left behind on a soccer-team outing, teams with an advice-spouting holdup man, he eventually finds the path to a happier, more confident self in “Oldboys.” This low-key comic road movie from debuting Danish director-writer Nikolaj Steen plays in part like an extended episode of “The Odd Couple” and was the surprise winner of the audience award in Karlovy Vary, auguring further fest play.
On an excursion to Sweden where his soccer club of Danish seniors is slated for a match, self-effacing Vagn (Kristian Halken) is forgotten at a rest stop. His unlikely savior turns out to be John (Robert Hansen), a young ex-con with a penchant for New Age personal growth. As the two men argue their way north, they pick up Jeanne (Laura Christensen), a perky single mother. Deploying both situational and character-based humor, Steen’s script keeps the comedy gentle but allows only the three leads to rise above caricature. Craft package is solidly pro; pic earned Danish Academy Awards for song and score, and sold 67,000 ducats during its 2009 release.