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The moment the train leaves the station without train driver Odd Horten aboard, he realizes that the path ahead is a journey without printed timetables and well-known stations. Horten has retired, and the platform does not feel like a safe place anymore.

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June 12, 2009 - Boston.com - Ty Burr/Globe Staff

'O'Horten" is a precise, deadpan drama of slapstick existentialism - a Bent Hamer movie, in other words. The hero is a 67-year-old Oslo train engineer named Odd Horten (Bård Owe), but, really, there's nothing very odd about him. He's neatly pressed, polite, reserved. The only time he seems to unbend is in the cab of his train as it cuts through the glowing white snowfields of Norway. Traveling in a straight line gives Horten joy: He gets to go places while never veering off course.

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