Could a special needs roadtrip movie out of Belgium possibly be funny, entertaining, and heartfelt? Yes, yes and yes. If you want to watch ridiculous caricatures of those confined to wheel chairs watch Glee, if you want to watch interesting characters confined to wheel chairs watch Come as You Are. While the story of three homely guys trying to lose their virginity isn’t exactly new or original, the way it’s told here is certainly unique; kind of like a Hangover for the indie set. This is a road comedy that works thanks to three convincing, truthful performances by its leads. Lars (Geofrrey Enthoven, who also directs) suffers from a terminal illness, and wants to have sex before dying. Paraplegic Jozef (Robrecht Vanden Thoren) fantasizes while watching women jog on the beach. Philip (Tom Audenaert) is virtually blind, requiring a magnifying glass and plenty of concentration to read anything. Against their parents’ wishes the three friends decide to visit a Spanish brothel that caters to people “like us.” In an impressive supporting role, Isabelle de Hertogh ends up as their on-the-go caregiver and driver. Fresh out of jail, she’s got a hard-love edge to her, and many of the laughs come mid-way in the film as the four trek across the country side in a van, singing, yelling, and sharing their innermost fears and desires.
Tag Archives: Dutch
De helaasheid der dingen / The Misfortunates (2009) Felix van Groeningen, Kenneth Vanbaeden, Valentijn Dhaenens, Koen De Graeve, Wouter Hendrickx, Comedy, Drama
13-year-old Gunther Strobbe grows up surrounded by alcohol, trash and his completely useless father and uncles. Slowly but surely, he’s being prepared for the same hapless life. Can he defy his destiny?
Details the catastrophic effects globalization has wrought on the ship, truck and train industries. We visit displaced farmers and villagers in Holland and Belgium, underpaid truck drivers in Los Angeles, seafarers aboard mega-ships shuttling between Asia and Europe, and factory workers in China, whose low wages are the fragile key to the whole puzzle. At a moment when collective bargaining rights are under attack in the United States, and China continues to bow to foreign pressures to prevent such rights from being granted at all, this film asks: Is capitalism the Trojan horse that turns on its inventors?
A 14 year old girl and a 41 year old friend of her father’s fall in love, and soon their relationship grows into a sexual one as well. For some time all is happy, but then the tension grows too much, because of the secrecy and frustration of being the lover of a married man, and because she feels he starts to treat her too much like a child instead of a lover.
Silent Bruges / Brugge, die stille (1981) Roland Verhavert, Idwig Stephane, Magda Lesage, Chris Boni, Drama
Hugues cannot get over the untimely death of his wife Blanche, who made him happy for ten years. He lives alone in his house in Bruges, a city he would like to be dead like his wife. The sorrowful widower has transformed the place he lives in into a shrine dedicated to his beloved wife. One day, he meets Jeanne, a ballet dancer, who looks like Blanche.
Noordzee, Texas / North Sea Texas (2011) Bavo Defurne, Ben Van den Heuvel, Eva van der Gucht, Thomas Coumans, Drama, Romance
Pim, the emotionally abandoned and affection-starved young gay son of a small seaside town’s resident floozy, grows up dreaming intensely of a loving father who will someday come for him, but never does. Frequently home alone, Pim often spends time at a neighbor’s house where another single mom and her two teenage children accept him matter-of-factly. As Pim is about to turn 15, he and neighbor boy Gino become each other’s friend-with-benefits, entering a period of sexual awakening together. Life, however, is all about change, and while Gino (a couple years older) is ready to move on and move out, Pim is not, leaving Pim behind to carry on with his continuing crush for Gino (while Gino’s sister Sabrina develops an unrequited crush for Pim).
An idealistic Dutch colonial officer posted to Indonesia in the 19th century is convinced that he can make the kinds of changes that will actually help the local people he is in charge of, but circumstances soon make him realize just how out of touch he really is, and it doesn’t take long for things to go from bad to worse.
Frailer tells the story of an actress playing a part that reflects her real life story. Whilst playing a woman dying of cancer, Muis her doctor tells her she has not much more time left. She will die soon. The film follows the transition of her and her film sisters, shifting from their characters to who they really are, actresses dealing with their friend upcoming death. We watch Leonoor become physically frailer but mentally stronger as she is slowly accepting her faith. Whilst ending the film, she leaves her film sisters, her real life husband and children but also the viewer, behind forever.