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De helaasheid der dingen (2009)

Not Rated | | Comedy , Drama | 9 April 2010 (USA)
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?

Director:

Felix Van Groeningen (as Felix van Groeningen)

Writers:

Christophe Dirickx (screenplay), Felix Van Groeningen (as Felix van Groeningen) | 1 more credit »

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8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | Netherlands

Language:

Dutch | Flemish

Release Date:

9 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shittiness of Things See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

During the drinking games you see beer glasses from the brand Jupiler. These show the new logo which wasn't released before 2005. 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 benoit-3See 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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