Thelma is another growing up story, a finding yourself/coming of age tale with a twist. As Norway’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Oscars and much like Julia Ducournau‘s Raw, it centres around a young, socially inexperienced girl called Thelma as she begins a new stage of her life at University. After leading a seemingly sheltered life this is a big step and an even bigger experience. Even if it wasn’t for the thing in her past that makes her different….
Joachim Trier has crafted a wonderful story, beautifully told with some amazing scenery and astounding work in the close up acting by the young leads. Eili Harboe as Thelma is just mesmerising as the camera focuses on her for a large portion of the time but also in her awkward yet intriguing interactions with fellow student Anja (Kaya Wilkins). As the story unfolds and we find out more and more about Thelma, her past and her family, allowing the pieces to begin be put into place. But even with this the picture that it reveals isn’t necessarily the one that you would expect.
This film looks fantastic, at times with a quite minimal aesthetic that I find appealing, credit to Jakob Ihre for his work here. It is really, really well acted and overall is a great little film and, even if it does lose a little bit of direction and pace towards the end, I found myself well and truly drawn into the story and the characters, much like I was with Raw, and that is high praise indeed (as I loved that film!).