Great timing comes with a lot of responsibility. Oslo is a dramatic dramatization of the secret back-channel peace discussions between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993, based on JT Rogers’ award-winning play of the same name. The Bartlett Sher-directed film – which follows the first face-to-face encounter between both sides, the cornerstones of what was meant to be a permanent resolution to a generations-long conflict – arrives in the midst of a year in which Gaza has been engulfed in new bloodshed. For a number of countries with no direct ties to the Middle East, Western news coverage has been the only reliable source of information about the conflict.
Oslo’s stage-to-screen “peg” concerns not just the verbose nature of a play based completely on closed-door discussions, but also the device that the two Nobel Peace Prize winners – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat – are never seen in the film. Instead, the unheralded contributions of Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul (Ruth Wilson) and her husband, sociologist and Fafo Foundation head Terje Rd-Larsen, are highlighted in Oslo (hot priest-turned-hot-peace-broker Andrew Scott). The European couple oversees the transaction with headmasterlike precision, evoking the underdog efforts of Tom Hanks’ character James Donovan in Bridge of Spies: the Unglamorous America. IMDB