Silver Astor for Best Actress - Eili Harboe
Love and guilt can be devastating forces. Joachim Trier builds, departing from that concept a smart and sharp thriller by putting Thelma at the center of the scene, a teenager in the midst of sexual awakening with the weight of a body that is the reflection of her emotions. Literally. The Norwegian director makes a hypnotic character of this young woman, possessing powers not even she understands yet.
In a startling flashback, we see a six-years-old Thelma walking next to her father in one of their winter hunting expeditions. Then, suddenly -we don't see how- the rifle's crosshair is on her. With that powerful scene, Joachim Trier pushes the spectator into the disturbing Thelma. It's such a visual and narratively potent image that it boosts the gravitational force of an in crescendo suspense.
With the superb performance of Eilie Harboe, the use of supernatural features as the reflection of emotions and fears and a the precise direction of photography of Jakob Ihre, Joachim Trier creates a drama that explodes in sensuality and is firmly supported by the beauty of frames that mask a disguised horror. Within the silence of the landscapes and the Nordic cities, something is happening. Fluctuating between magic and reality, Thelma must find how to escape and liberate.