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The Misfortunates (2009)
"De helaasheid der dingen" (original title)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  9 April 2010 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,728 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 11 user | 52 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

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?

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth Vanbaeden ...
Valentijn Dhaenens ...
...
Celle
Wouter Hendrickx ...
Petrol
Johan Heldenbergh ...
Breejen
Bert Haelvoet ...
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 ...
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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

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

9 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shittiness of Things  »

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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

 
Coming-of-age tale with debauchery, pathos, and humor
22 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended the North American Premiere of "The Misfortunates" at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Director Felix van Groeningen introduced the film with a few caveats about the drunkenness and debauchery to come. He was correct. The film is filled with humor and pathos, presenting some painfully brutal characterizations of life in Belgium for a 13-year-old boy living in a house of alcoholics. Equal parts comedy and tragedy, "The Misfortunates" can be painful to watch at times but the payoff is worth it. Shot cinema verité style, the artful use of color and texture combined with copious amounts of bawdy humor make this film an audience favorite.


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