Fallen Leaves is a 2023 Finnish-German comedy-drama film written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki, marking his 20th full-length film and a continuation of the Proletariat series.
In Helsinki, Ansa (Alma Pöysti) and Holappa (Jussi Vatanen) spend their lonely days in drab workplaces, bars full of stone-faced patrons, and sparsely decorated homes. When they meet randomly at a karaoke bar ,their chance of happiness together is threatened by Holappa’s dependence on alcohol. Will they find their way back to each other?
Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Other Side of Hope) makes a masterful return in this hopeful and satisfying love story, typically melancholic, wryly humorous while also being life affirming and wonderful fun. Shot through Kaurismäki’s idiosyncratic lens, this tragicomedy is a reminder of the potency of movie-going with homages to some of cinemas all-time greats including one of the directors long-time pals, Jim Jarmusch.
Winner – Winner FIPRESCI Film of the Year, Aki Kaurismäki: San Sebastián International Film Festival 2023
Winner – Jury Prize, Aki Kaurismäki : Cannes Film Festival 2023
“★ ★ ★ ★ It’s romantic and sweet-natured, in a deadpan style that in no way undermines or ironises the emotions involved and with some sharp things to say about contemporary politics”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“★ ★ ★ ★ ★ …the crowd-pleaser of the season”
– Tara Brady, The Irish Times
“The director is in a playfully reflective mood about his own work here, while also tipping his hat to the films and filmmakers who inspired him’’
–David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter