Just Another Love Story

Director: Ole Bornedal
Screenwriters: Ole Bornedal

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


If the first order of business for any self-respecting film noir is a dead body with a story to tell, Ole Bornedal is quick to oblige. But rest assured that this twisted, visually energized genre bender has no further use for “custom,” and Just Another Love Story is anything but.

Jonas is a crime photographer, a family man, and a generally beleaguered resident of suburban malaise until he’s involved in a car accident that leaves a stranger, Julia, unconscious in the hospital. Curiosity compels Jonas to visit her, but when Julia’s family mistakes him for her boyfriend, Sebastian (whom they’ve never met), Jonas readily steps into the role. His pretense would be short lived, but Julia awakes with amnesia and, enlivened by the new identity he’s inherited, Jonas maintains the deception. Of course, memories return. And so do boyfriends.

Playing with flashbacks, employing a linearly fractured narrative, and freely manipulating noir’s standard devices and archetypes, Bornedal’s dexterity with genre conventions is on full display here. Constantly aware of what’s predictable, he heads in the opposite direction. Moreover, he latches onto a completely universal impulse—the desire to reinvent ourselves. But fatalism rules in noir, and the cruel irony—tailor made for that dead body—is that living a life that isn’t yours is a dangerous game, an illusory freedom. The truth always comes knocking at your door.

— John Nein

Screening Details

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