2 Nights Till Morning: An encounter with a stranger
by Camillo De Marco
- The second feature film by Finnish director and screenwriter Mikko Kuparinen, which stars Marie-Josée Croze, adopts a mature and shrewd view of human relationships
2 Nights Till Morning [+see also:
interview: Mikko Kuparinen
film profile], in competition at the 34th Bergamo Film Meeting, is striking with its directorial maturity and shrewd view of feelings and human relationships. 37-year-old Finnish director and screenwriter Mikko Kuparinen’s second foray into feature film, after making his debut in 2012 with romantic comedy Body Fat Index of Love [+see also:
film profile], is a familiar story on the big screen: a lonely woman meets a stranger. But it plays out with a classic elegance that is reminiscent of the theatre yet has a very contemporary feel.
Indeed, 2 Nights Till Morning plays out, over the space of two nights, in a hotel room, but also alludes to the outside world. We’re in Vilnius, and Caroline, a forty-something French architect on a business trip, ends up getting stuck there an extra night. At her hotel she makes eye contact with the fascinating Jaakko, a Finnish dj in the Lithuanian capital for a concert. The two spend the evening together and end up in bed.
A common language between them, English, and a neutral ground (Lithuania) on which the encounter and conflict between a man and a woman who are both attracted to and repelled by one another takes place. With the help of a cloud of ash from an erupting volcano (a fitting metaphor…), the pair spend a second night together, hurting one another, holding one another, and showing one another their weaknesses. He takes her to the hall where his concert will take place, and she admits that she has a partner waiting for her back in Paris, a relationship in crisis that is perhaps nearing its end.
The film contains Bergmanian echoes and references to the family dramas of Susanne Bier, but without digging too deeply into the torment racking the characters’ souls. 2 Nights Till Morning is no Intimacy by Patrice Chereau, and it is even less like Last Tango in Paris by Bertolucci, but it has its own unique strength and personality that sets it apart from more internationally well-known Finnish cinema (Aki Kaurismäki, Mikko Niskanen). It’s a piece of European film in its purest form, which also owes it’s distribution potential to the choice of language and the performance of Mikko Nousiainen, along with Canadian star Marie-Josée Croze, in one of her most convincing performances since The Barbarian Invasions.
The winner of the Award for Best Director at the Montreal World Film Festival, the film is being sold by Wide Management.
(Translated from Italian)