Thelma Is the Norwegian Psychosexual Thriller You Didn’t Know You Needed
After a foray into more conventional English-language fare with his last movie, Louder Than Bombs, director Joachim Trier has returned to a genre he does uncommonly well: mining the psychologies of an unstable protagonist, as he did in his breakout from 2011, Oslo, August 31. This time, with Thelma, which is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, he’s centered his story on a young woman (Eili Harboe) who’s just left her strict Christian home to go to university and starts experiencing seizures that seem to wreak havoc on her surroundings at the same time she begins an intimate and fraught relationship with a beautiful fellow student who befriends her (Okay Kaya). It has everything one could want in a sultry viewing experience: gorgeous leads, lesbian experimentation, religious undertones. But fair warning: As the trailer shows, there are enough snakes, people on fire, windows spontaneously imploding, medical experiments, and eerily frozen lakes to give you nightmares for days.