The scene where Hans Peter is watching Television is set in the early 1970s. The Disco-episode he is watching is from the 27.11.1978, as Ilja Richter was announcing Baccara with "The Devil Sent You to Loredo". Hape Kerkeling was already 13 years old back then. See more »
The family can be heard talking thought the first half of the closing credits See more »
A Deeply Moving and Humourous Guide To How To Raise a Child
All About Me is based on the biography of German comedian and presenter Hans-Peter "Hape" Wilhem Kerkeling. It chronicles his childhood and family upbringing, growing up in the countryside of Recklinghausen in the 1970s.
The German title, Der Junge muss an die frische Luft, is transliterated as "This Boy Needs Some Fresh Air", which sounds like a euphemism describing a hyperactive child (that's my best non-confirmed linguistic guess anyways). It would have been a more suitable English title than "All About Me".
Director Caroline Link, who previously won an Oscar for Nowhere In Africa, skillfully balances comedy and tragedy with precise timing. The script captures that feeling of everyday time passing that Richard Linklater was shooting for in Boyhood, though the story covers a much shorter timespan. The audience effectively watches the Kerkelings watching Hans-Peter grow up and get to share their joy. When tragic things happen, you've realized you have become a part of the family and you are sobbing with them. Ready the tissues, this is a tearjerker. It's August now so it might be early to say this, All About You is the nicest cry you will have at the movies this year.
Julius Weckauf delivers a great child actor performance on par with a young Dakota Fanning. He possesses the acting chops, the presence and comedic timing, which is the rarest skill to have at such a young age. The boy is the star of the show and sufficiently in carries the film through its hilarious and the serious moments.
What was moving about All About Me was that it captured the joy of family in its best conditions. It is unrequited love, having a mutual support system, and endless inside jokes. As someone who works in education, how the Kerkeling family raise Hans-Peter is a great standard that parents and teachers can refer to. It illustrates the possibilities when you go along with a child's interests, instead of rejecting them offhand on the account of social norms or conventional thinking.
Hans-Peter has a natural God-given theatricality and develops a comedy bug as a child, doing impersonations of old ladies at the local mom and pop shop. When Hans-Peter wants to dress up like a woman for a local festival, his family encourages it, despite the occasional grimace from other families. "Just do what you want to do and forget what other people think," Hans-Peter's grandmother tells him. The routine of performing spontaneously improvised comedy bits for his family becomes the seed for his future comedy career.
All About Me is on my current top ten of 2019. It was serendipitous that I got to see it having perused its poster display walking out of Pain and Glory in a Taipei movie theater. It was a box office hit in Germany. If the film is released in your local arthouse cinema, go have a good laugh and a good cry.
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