7.4/10
7,681
11 user 56 critic

The Misfortunates (2009)

De helaasheid der dingen (original title)
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?

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Matty, a 41-year old mother of three with a husband in his midlife-crisis, meets 29-year old Johnny, a truck driver, who takes an interest in her.

Director: Christophe Van Rompaey
Stars: Barbara Sarafian, Jurgen Delnaet, Johan Heldenbergh
Steve + Sky (2004)
Romance | Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Small time crook Steve leaves jail and meets Sky, a naïeve girl who is also a prostitute. The beginning of a strange but wonderful relationship.

Director: Felix van Groeningen
Stars: Titus De Voogdt, Delfine Bafort, Johan Heldenbergh
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He's a romantic atheist, she's a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.

Director: Felix van Groeningen
Stars: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The lives of a group of friends get disturbed when one of them comes back after having been away for some years.

Director: Felix van Groeningen
Stars: Koen De Graeve, Wine Dierickx, Pieter Genard
Oxygen (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two young men share an incurable illness. Is their love for the women in their lives strong enough to conquer their fear of dying?

Director: Hans Van Nuffel
Stars: Stef Aerts, Wouter Hendrickx, Marie Vinck
Belgica (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The drama follows two brothers who start a bar and get swept up in its success in the midst of Belgium's nightlife scene.

Director: Felix van Groeningen
Stars: Stef Aerts, Tom Vermeir, Stefaan De Winter
Daens (1992)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the 1890s, Father Adolf Daens goes to Aalst, a textile town where child labor is rife, pay and working conditions are horrible, the poor have no vote, and the Catholic church backs the ... See full summary »

Director: Stijn Coninx
Stars: Jan Decleir, Gérard Desarthe, Antje de Boeck
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on a true story, 'Tot altijd' introduces us to a band of friends in the eighties, who spend their days enjoying their youth and turbulent (love) life. Mario Verstraete (Koen Degraeve)... See full summary »

Director: Nic Balthazar
Stars: Koen De Graeve, Geert Van Rampelberg, Lotte Pinoy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A tragicomedy about the everyday life of a butchers family Vangenechten. The business is running fine until the son returns home after a long time. He wants to learn more about the butchers... See full summary »

Stars: Koen De Graeve, Mieke De Groote, Reinhilde Decleir
Tangier (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In August 1996, bus drivers Marcel Van Loock and Wim Moreels are apprehended by the Moroccan Customs for drug trafficking. Inside their bus, hidden behind a false compartment, they have ... See full summary »

Director: Frank van Mechelen
Stars: Nadia Abdelouafi, Mohamed Bari, Rachid Benbouchta
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three guys in their twenties love wine and women but they are still virgins. Under the guise of a wine tour they embark on a journey to Spain hoping to have their first sexual experience. ... See full summary »

Director: Geoffrey Enthoven
Stars: Charlotte Timmers, Roos Van Vlaenderen, Robrecht Vanden Thoren
Ad Fundum (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

College initiation rites on one Belgian campus end in tragic death of one freshman. His friends are determined to see the justice done.

Director: Erik Van Looy
Stars: Tom Van Landuyt, Mathias Sercu, Tom Van Bauwel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth Vanbaeden ...
Valentijn Dhaenens ...
...
Celle
Wouter Hendrickx ...
Petrol
Johan Heldenbergh ...
Breejen
...
Koen
Gilda De Bal ...
Meetje
Natali Broods ...
Rosie
Pauline Grossen ...
Sylvie
Sofie Palmers ...
Vriendin Gunther
Guy Dermul ...
Directeur school
Jos Geens ...
André
Robbie Cleiren ...
Deurwaarder
Sara De Bosschere ...
Nele Fockedey
Wout Kelchtermans ...
Edit

Storyline

In Reetveerdegem (English would be Arsefeatherham), a fictitious derelict hamlet near run-down industrial city Aalst (Alost), five debt-burdened drop-out Strobbe brothers move back in with their pensioned mother 'Meetje', still wasting their lives in dead-end jobs, alcohol, gambling and meaningless sex. Celle also took in, as if their baby brother, his son Gunther. Nobody expects the knave (13) to grow up and become a respectable citizen either, despite his better IQ and attitude, as his uncles' and father's mischief and reputation seem to sabotage every single opportunity. Discovering love may motivate him after all, or accidental paternity could drag him down to father's level. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shittiness of Things  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The official Belgian submission for the 2010 Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

When Gunther is at the age of 13, there are trains in gray style passing in different scenes. But the new gray version was first introduced in the late 90's. See more »

Connections

Referenced in L'incertitude des choses (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The "Misfortunates" are those who don't see this film!
29 August 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

What is it about Belgian Directors? They manage to make films which are about working-class people, full of hard knocks and everyday misery... and yet, not only is there a joie de vivre between the lines, but sweetness and fun. The Misfortunates reminds me very much of the kind of films by the Frères Dardenne...La Promesse, Le Fils... sort of like Ken Loach, but without the total grimness of his vision.

The story is told from the point of view of a young man remembering his time as a thirteen-year-old... at the point where he is taken away from his family because of the degrading environment. I'm not going to go into a description of the film... simply to say that in all the films mentioned above, what shines out especially are the incredibly realistic performances...you totally forget that these are actors, and you learn something about the way "the other half lives", which may horrify you or disgust you, but somewhere in all that, their humanity wins you over. I find this to be a particularly Belgian trait...I can't think of any serious French films that have this capacity for realism, grittiness and humanity. And the ability to make you like something about all the characters, no matter how objectionable they might be for the most part. And of course, these days, there is nothing comparable coming from America, where everything is formulaic. (The closest I've seen to this kind of realism recently in American film is Winters Bone... which comes close but is too manufactured to work on a deeper level.)

The Misfortunates is not to be missed.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Language rubenm
This film is.. Vehrlah
Movies like this Thom_azzz
Loved it. Reminds me . . bsanto
Discuss The Misfortunates (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?