Films & Schedules

  • Cold Lunch

  • Eva Sørhaug

90 minutes

Production Company:
Executive Producer:
Marius Holst, Karin Julsrud, Pål Sletaune, Turid Øversveen, Håkon Øverås, Aagot Skjeldal
Håkon Øverås, Aagot Skjeldal
Per Schreiner
Production Designer:
Siri Langdalen
John Andreas Andersen
Wibecke Rønseth, Sophie Hesselberg
Tormod Ringnes
Bugge Wesseltoft
Principal Cast: Ane Dahl Torp, Aksel Hennie, Pia Tjelta, Bjørn Floberg, Anneke von der Lippe

International Sales Agent:

Saturday September 0608:15PM VARSITY 3 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Monday September 0809:30AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1209:00PM VARSITY 2 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Eva Sørhaug's memorable debut feature follows a disparate group of characters living on the fringes of Oslo society. Cold Lunch takes an unflinching yet compassionate look at what happens when a social safety net collapses for reasons other than poverty or neglect. In fact, all of the film's characters come from middle-class – or at least comfortable – homes. Like the creations of Todd Solondz and Lucrecia Martel, Sørhaug's characters are largely moral idiots, surrendering responsibility for their own actions. But even when their behaviour is appalling, it still possesses a grim humour.

Christer (Aksel Hennie, last seen at the Festival in his own film, Uno) is a torpid hustler who has been simultaneously fired from his job and kicked out of his apartment. Now he survives by stealing tips from restaurant tables and crashing wherever he can. Turid is a sadly aging party girl. Leni, the agoraphobic daughter of a health-obsessed intellectual, has spent decades cooped up in her parents' apartment, and is one day unexpectedly released into the world. Heidi, a scattered young mother, is obsessed with maintaining her masochistic relationship with the repugnant Odd.

All of them are fabulously ill-equipped to deal with the circumstances into which they have been thrust. Quasi-bohemian Christer is devoutly lethargic, yet demanding. Driven by an absurd sense of privilege, he refuses to ask his father for money because he is convinced the loan will not be enough; instead, Christer hits up a friend for cash, whining, “Couldn't you just give me your account number?” But it is ultimately Heidi's abject failure as a parent that is most troubling – the storyline's shocking conclusion is not for the faint of heart.

Directing with a maturity rarely seen in a first feature, Sørhaug deftly balances a critical view of her own characters with considerable empathy. We never lose sight of these troubled souls' basic humanity. We may not like them that much, but we recognize each one of them.

Steve Gravestock

Eva Sørhaug was born in Oslo, Norway, and studied social science at the University of Olso before getting an M.F.A. in filmmaking at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. After directing a number of short films, she made her debut feature, Cold Lunch (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award