The Orheim Company

"The Orheim Company" is a strongly etched if overly familiar coming-of-ager.

With: Vebjorn Enger, Kristoffer Joner, Cecilie Mosli, Glenn Andre Viste Boe, Eili Harboe, Rolf Kristian Larsen.

A strongly etched if overly familiar coming-of-ager, “The Orheim Company” reps the third film to feature novelist Tore Renberg’s iconic voice-of-a-generation character, Jarle Klepp, who previously appeared in “The Man Who Loved Yngve” (2008) and “I Travel Alone” (2011). Given that it’s based on a beloved bestseller, this latest from Norwegian helmer Arhild Andresen (“The Liverpool Goalie”) should score on home turf and find further fest play offshore; its top prize in Gothenburg’s Nordic film competition won’t hurt. Norsk Filmdistribusjon launches domestic rollout on March 2.

Klepp, a semiautobiographical character for Renberg, embodies the energy of youth while also offering audiences a rueful look at the recent past from a more mature perspective. In all three films, events in Klepp’s young adult life spark memories of his troubled teenage years.

Although it works as a standalone film, “Orheim” is essentially a prequel to the two previous pics, explaining why Jarle’s parents separated and how he met best friend Helge and became a liberal activist. Bookended by a 1996 section in which the 24-year-old Jarle (Rolf Kristian Larsen, reprising) reacts to news of his father’s death, the primary narrative takes place eight years earlier in the coastal town of Stavanger, slightly predating the action of “The Man Who Loved Yngve.”

Sixteen-year-old Jarle (Vebjorn Enger) is bitterly aware that his father, Terje Orheim (Kristoffer Joner, terrifyingly good), has a drinking problem, and resents the fact that his meek mother, Sara (Cecilie Mosli), refuses to stand up for herself or for him. Terje is a mean drunk, given to abusing Sara and Jarle physically and psychologically. Perhaps the film’s strongest element is the way it nails the wary, embattled atmosphere in which an alcoholic’s family members exist, as well as the painful incidents that cause Jarle to mistrust and fear his controlling father.

Jarle tries to escape troubles at home through his love of alternative rock, liberal activism and the pursuit of girls. Along with Helge (Glenn Andre Viste Boe), he participates in a rally against racism and becomes something of a local star when he is shown on TV shouting down anti-immigration forces.

The screenplay by Andresen and his “Goalie” scribe Lars Gudmestad is sensitive to the Orheim family dynamics while also capturing the mood and spirit of two different generations in a specific environment and era. Pacing is brisk and thesping on the money.

Cool-toned tech package is fine, with the backdrop of frequently gray, rainy skies an apt metaphor for the Orheim family’s instability. The film’s title comes from joking name that Terje, a WWII buff, gives their family unit.

Popular on Variety

The Orheim Company


Production: A Norsk Filmdistribusjon release of a Motlys production with the support of the NFI, Story Film, Studios Film Kraft, Solbakke, Film Story, Peanuts, NRK. (International sales: NonStop Sales, Stockholm.) Produced by Yngve Saether, Sigve Endresen. Directed by Arhild Andresen. Screenplay, Lars Gudmestad, Andresen, based on the novel "Kompani Orheim" by Tore Renberg.

Crew: Camera (color), Philip Ogaard; editor, Vidar Flataukan; music, Aslak Hartberg; production designer, Ingeborg Kvamme; costume designer, Stina Lunde; sound (Dolby Digital), Hugo Ekornes. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival (competing), Jan. 31, 2012. Running time: 104 MIN.

With: With: Vebjorn Enger, Kristoffer Joner, Cecilie Mosli, Glenn Andre Viste Boe, Eili Harboe, Rolf Kristian Larsen.

More Film

  • If I Were a Rich Man

    Filmax Nabs Alvaro Fernandez Armero’s ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Filmax has taken international rights to Álvaro Fernández Armero’s comedy “If I Were a Rich Man.” Produced by Telecinco Cinema, Think Studio and Ciskul, and backed by Mediaset España and Movistar+, “If I Were a Rich Man” is a Spanish remake of Michel Munz and Gerard Bitton’s French comedy “Ah! Si j’étais [...]

  • Baby

    Latido Takes Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s 'Baby' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Latido Films has taken world sales rights outside Spain on Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s “Baby,” a drama with a psychological thriller narrative thrust starring Rosie Day (“Down a Dark Hall”), Harriet Sansom Harris (“Phantom Thread”), Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”), Charo López (“All Night Long”) and young actress Mafalda Carbonell (“To Live Twice”). [...]

  • Noahs Ark

    India’s Symbiosys to Co-Produce, Co-Animate Gullane’s ‘Noah’s Ark’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Noah’s Ark – A Musical Adventure,” Brazil’s most ambitious animated feature ever, just got a bit bigger with the announcement that producers Fabiano Gullane’s Gullane, Walter Salles’ Videofilmes and Felipe Sabino and Daniel Greco’s NIP will be joined by leading Indian animation studio Symbiosys Technologies as co-producers and co-animators. The partnership marks the first occasion [...]

  • Navarra

    Navarre Film Commission Celebrates First Decade at San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —    Since the 1950s, Spain has been a favorite European shooting locale. One of the biggest reasons remains its easily accessible, unique and diverse locations. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this past June, the Navarre Film Commission kicked off a traveling exhibition which has been touring Spain over the summer and will present [...]

  • Rambo Last Blood

    Film Review: 'Rambo: Last Blood'

    Home has always been an abstract concept for John Rambo, which is what the last scene of 2008’s otherwise expendable “Rambo” sequel finally gave the iconic Sylvester Stallone character: a moment when this unsettled Vietnam War survivor, looking very much the worse for wear, lumbers up to a mailbox bearing the character’s surname. At last, [...]

  • Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith. Jada

    Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's Westbrook Inks Development Pact With Telepool (EXCLUSIVE)

    Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s new media venture, Westbrook Inc., has signed a co-development agreement for feature films, television shows and digital entertainment formats with German-based film and TV company Telepool. The move follows the acquisition of Telepool last year by Smith and Elysian Fields, a Zurich-based investment company. Westbrook, launched this year by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content