Aki Kaurismäki is a genre unto himself. If you’ve seen Le Havre or The Other Side of Hope then you know what to expect, and if you haven’t, they’re charming, deadpan comedies about working class people, often melancholic or just alcoholic, but goodhearted and kind to dogs (there’s always a dog). In Fallen Leaves, Ansi (Alma Pöysti) meets Holappa (Jussi Vatanen), and these two lonely souls feel they are meant for each other, but Fate seems to have other ideas… From this simple love story, Kaurismäki crafts a poignant and pertinent comedy which picked up the Jury Prize at Cannes.
Actually-funny and not just arthouse-funny […] Fallen Leaves is another of Kaurismäki’s beguiling and delightful cinephile comedies, featuring foot-tapping rock’n’roll. It’s romantic and sweet-natured, in a deadpan style that in no way undermines or ironises the emotions involved and with some sharp things to say about contemporary politics. Fallen Leaves is a film with a big heart, as absurd and cartoony as it may be, it fills you with a feel-good glow.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
What constitutes a perfect film? A perfect film doesn’t have to be in any particular genre, in any event. A perfect film knows what it’s about, knows what it wants to say, and knows that even when what it has to say is unusually simple, what it says can’t be reduced to words or any form of description apart from the thing itself. Which means that a perfect film has to be seen in order for its perfection to be appreciated.
Glenn Kenny, rogerebert.com
Close to perfect.
David Sims, The Atlantic
In a movie year rife with grand, three-hour opuses from auteur filmmakers comes a slender 81-minute gem that outclasses them all. Aki Kaurismäki’s “Fallen Leaves,” short, sweet and utterly delightful, is the kind of movie that’s so charming, you want to run it back the moment it’s over.
Jake Coyle, Toronto Star
Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, Nuppu Koivu
In Finnish with English subtitles
Jury Prize, Cannes 2023
Aki Kaurismäki, Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff, Reinhard Brundig
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