To call Thelma, Norway’s submission to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, the best lesbian sci-fi film of recent years is accurate. But that also brings into focus just how rarely the genre makes it to the big screen. Young Thelma (Eili Harboe) has finally left her family’s remote lakeside home and is heading to college in Oslo, where she’ll find a whole new world of love and reality-deforming psionic eruptions. Thelma’s love is strong, you see. Strong enough to tear open the very universe.
This is a film for everybody who wanted, metaphorically, a chance for Carrie White to just have a nice time at the prom. It’s a film that respects the strength of Stephen King’s enduring archetype, but also recognizes that it’s a whole new world around us; one in which antiquated moral absolutes don’t necessarily hold sway. Thelma is adept at both the awkwardness of love and the unspeakable nature of cosmic horror.