Official Oscar© Selection—Finland | Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival
A chance meeting in Helsinki offers two lonely strangers, Ansa and Holappa, an opportunity for love and escape, in the latest from Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki (Drifting Clouds, Le Havre). An sweetly awkward movie date leads both to grander dreams, far from their chilly interior lives and the loneliness that pervades Kaurismäki’s comically drab Helsinki. A series of misfortunes—ranging from buttery fingers, to the more serious—seems intent on keeping Ansa and Holappa apart, but just as quickly, their paths cross once more, as if by magnetic force.
Their coy flirtation plays out against the backdrop of news reports from the war in Ukraine, but for a moment suspended in time, the world’s gravest problems recede, and a chance at simple connection takes center stage. A tragicomic romance, Fallen Leaves delicately explores the enduring lure of hope and love in the face of life’s myriad obstacles.
“An unexpected crowd-pleaser from a minimalist master”
–Toronto Star, Peter Howell