Hawaii, Oslo is the story of a handful of people who cross each other's path without necessarily knowing each other, during the hottest day of the year, in Oslo. We follow Frode and Milla. They are having their first child, who they are told will not live long. We follow Bobbie-Pop, a faded singer who tries to commit suicide. We follow Leon, an institutionalized kleptomaniac who is loking for Åsa, to whom he has a ten year old deal to get married. We meet Leon's brother, Trygve, who fetches Leon at the institution to celebrate his birthday, but who himself has plans to use his leave from prison to run away. And most of all we meet the angel Vidar, Leon's best buddy at the institution, who sees things no one else can see, and who may be able to save everyone - except himself?
The slightly chubby harness racer Bjarte doesn't get the good horses anymore, and is forced to enter the criminal path in order to keep menacing creditors at bay. A fatal choice of partners ends up in a failed doping attempt, and a consequent kidnapping of the top horse Berlusconi.
A director feels he is about to lose himself to the market forces and thinks that the only way he can protest is by making a political film. He contacts Thomas Hylland Eriksen, who will become his mouthpiece and articulate what is wrong. But along the way the director becomes distracted by another person, a young, fumbling girl reminiscent of himself.