7.4/10
7,993
10 user 57 critic

De helaasheid der dingen (2009)

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 »
7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth Vanbaeden ...
Valentijn Dhaenens ...
...
Celle
...
Petrol
...
Breejen
...
Koen
Gilda De Bal ...
Meetje
...
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 ...
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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:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shittiness of Things  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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 »

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User Reviews

 
When urine, excrement, sperm and vomit are not enough as narrative devices...
5 November 2010 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

... you can always count on tears, blood, placenta and spilt beer.

Having said this, this film uses all of them to good effect. This brutal confrontation with the Flanders of Pieter Brueghel and Jacques Brel, is not without its pathetic and touching moments. It reminded me a lot of Quebec's "C.R.A.Z.Y" in its enthusiasms for its subject but with, of course, much more squalor.

The actors are all convincing and attractive in their own way and the direction is transparent and unobtrusive. The viewer should be warned that the opus is generously peppered with scenes of fornication, sometimes public, pissing, sometimes public, defecation, sometimes public, vomiting, sometimes public, public male nudity and transvestism, not to mention lots and lots of binge drinking.

I liked the anecdote in the "making of" documentary telling how one of the father's fake moustaches was fashioned from the male actors' and crew's pubic hair. It seemed fitting somehow.


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