One of contemporary Norwegian cinema’s pre-eminent directors, Bent Hamer (Kitchen Stories) has devoted much of his career to critiques of his country’s celebration of heroic individualism. His typical protagonists are rough-hewn males living in remote areas who are both ferociously independent and comically stubborn, only reluctantly accepting the presence of other people in their lives.
In his new film, 1001 Grams, Hamer shifts his focus to urbane urbanite Marie (Ane Dahl Torp), a thirty-something scientist whose life is as rigorously controlled as those of any of Hamer’s male heroes. Recently divorced, Marie devotes her life to measurements, spending her days inspecting ski slopes while studiously avoiding her ex. The pride of the institute where she works is a perfect kilogram weight, a model for all measurements in the country, which Marie is supposed to take to a big conference in France. It is her first time going, and the first time her father, a fellow scientist and a legend in their field, will not be attending. When a family emergency jolts Marie even further out of her element, she finds herself introduced to whole new worlds.
Full of Hamer’s trademark offbeat humour, 1001 Grams sharply critiques those dichotomies—rural versus urban, precision versus poetry, science versus mysticism, romance versus logic—that Marie routinely accepts. As she explores her new possibilities, the film seems to unfurl magically, beautifully, the way the first real day of summer seems to spill over with promise and renewal.
“1001 Grams achieves a charming equipoise of levity and gravity, of formal rigor and soulful sentiment.” (A.O. Scott, New York Times)
“Quietly moving and exquisitely made, suffused with a depth of feeling that belies its minimalist construction.” (Justin Chang, Variety)