Award-winning filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Other Side of Hope) makes a masterful return with Fallen Leaves, a timeless, hopeful and satisfying love story that won the Jury Prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
Set in modern day Helsinki, the film tells the story of Ansa (Alma Pöysti) and Holappa (Jussi Vatanen), two lonely souls whose chance meeting at a local karaoke bar is beset by numerous hurdles. From lost phone numbers to mistaken addresses, alcoholism and a charming stray dog, the pair’s path to happiness is as bittersweet as it is ultimately delightful.
Shot through with Kaurismäki’s typically playful, idiosyncratic style and deadpan sense of humor, this tender romantic tragicomedy is both a loving tribute to the filmmaker’s beloved contemporaries and a timely reminder of the potency of movie-going from one of cinema’s living legends.
The Garden Cinema View;
As its title suggests, Aki Kaurismäki’s latest (and last?) film is an Autumnal work. A gentle example of the great director’s deadpan humour and late-style turn towards profound empathy for his characters. With a clear-sighted depiction of precarious life and casualised labour, Kaurismäki conjures a melancholic romance. Fallen Leaves is a film for anyone who has ever felt hopeless, broken, or lonely; a paean to the redemptive power of personal connection amongst the dehumanising effects of contemporary society.