This film version of the Tony-winning play is a high-level drama on an international level and, following the recent clashes in Israel and Gaza, more topical than ever Oslo shows the secret negotiations that led to the historic Oslo Peace Accords in 1993.
Playwright JT Rogers and director Bartlett Sher have cleverly put their three-hour Broadway work together into a tight and unexpectedly emotional two-hour docudrama in which Israelis and Palestinians try against odds to give peace a chance. The unlikely setting: a spacious private property in icy Norway, where junior diplomat Mona Juul (The affairRuth Wilson) invents with her sociological husband Terje Rød-Larsen (FleabagAndrew Scott) to bring together skeptical advocates on both sides of the seemingly unattainable divide.
No matter how hot it gets, the couple insists that they are only there to relieve and not be seen as lawyers, even if Mona’s superiors see them as meddling in matters above their pay grade. They continue to risk global backlash by failing to inform the US of their shadow diplomacy with the doors closed.
“I have never met an Israeli face to face,” admits the cautious Ahmed Qurie (FaudaSalim Daw), the PLO Finance Minister, before accepting the invitation. And it starts rocky when his associate, PLO liaison Hassan Asfour (Waleed Zualter), fails the small talk test when an Israeli academic tries to break the ice by commenting on the weather just to hear: “Not as cold as the hearts of your Zionist soldiers who break the bones of the sons and daughters of Gaza. “
Ouch. Can these negotiations be saved?
It’s waffles to the rescue as opponents learn to relax over a series of shared meals and private jokes. “We are all friends here,” emphasizes the idealistic Terje. “Only by sharing the private can we see ourselves for who we really are.”
This is story told on a refreshingly human level.
Oslo, Film premiere, Saturday May 30th at 8 / 7c, HBO