Movie Review: 1001 Grams -- The Measure of Life

05/13/2015 10:53 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2016


I am a big fan of Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer. The Norwegian films of his that have made it to American screens -- Kitchen Stories, O'Horten and now 1001 Grams (currently in limited release) reveal a miniaturist dealing in microcosms that reveal the world.

In the case of 1001 Grams, it is the world of weights and measures, a subject to which most of us probably never give a thought. We take it for granted that the scale at the deli or the pump at the gas station are correctly calibrated and barely notice the little stickers they all bear, indicating that, in fact, someone has made sure of their accuracy.

Marie Ernst (Ane Dahl Torp) is one of the people who applies those stickers, after first measuring against her own government-approved standard. Her life is about precision, things neatly contained with easily understood units of measure.

Well, not all of it. There are loose ends in her life, such as her ongoing divorce. She endures a daily ritual of parking across the street from her austere suburban townhouse in her car after work. She waits because her ex-husband inevitably has chosen that time to enter the house and take pieces of furniture and other possessions. He leaves - and then she can go home to an increasingly bare domicile.

But the cool, somewhat remote Marie, who works with her father (Stein Winge), has her world further disrupted when her father is hospitalized just before the annual international seminar on the kilogram in Paris.

This review continues on my website.