|Alma Pöysti||Jussi Vatanen||Janne Hyytiäinen|
|Alma Pöysti||Jussi Vatanen|
Yet within this space, viewers will find the richness of feeling that’s a hallmark of the director’s recent work. Fallen Leaves is also among his funniest movies, with Kaurismäki taking full advantage of all the sight gags and recurring jokes at his disposal. The material just gets richer as the bond between Ansa and Holappa deepens, their first encounter at a karaoke bar followed by an outing to a screening of Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die (one of many nods to Kaurismäki’s friends and inspirations).
The couple’s chance for happiness feels all the more precious due to the film’s only significant acknowledgement of our present moment: news reports on the war in Ukraine, a source of anxiety in a country that shares a 1,340-kilometre border with Russia. This intrusion of the real adds another layer of poignancy to Kaurismäki’s celebration of the solace we may find in each other, if we’re brave enough to try.