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De Helaasheid der Dingen (The Misfortunates)

De Helaasheid der Dingen (The Misfortunates) (2010)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 973

My Rating

Movie Info

A boy growing up with a family of Flemish slobs learns more than his elders imagined they were capable of teaching in this purposefully rude comedy drama. Gunther Strobbe (Kenneth Vanbaeden) is 13 years old and living with his father, Marcel (Koen De Graeve), his three uncles (Bert Haelvoet, Johan Heldenbergh and Wouter Hendrickx), and his grandmother (Gilda De Bal). You would think that Gunther has more than enough adult role models in his life, but the Strobbes are not an ordinary family;

Oct 19, 2010

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (5)

If Ken Loach and Roberto Benigni went into a bar, drank themselves into a stupor and emerged the next morning with a screenplay, it might look a lot like The Misfortunates.

June 14, 2010 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
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A bawdy, heartfelt glimpse into a proudly dysfunctional Belgium family.

June 14, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
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The Misfortunates is a bleak comedy that's not as funny or grim as it needs to be.

June 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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There's whimsy and raunchy humor here, but also an underlying sense of darkness and despair.

June 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
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An appalling childhood may risk making you an unhappy person when you grow up, but it almost guarantees a great yarn.

April 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Comedy doesn't get any more tragic than this.

April 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A debauched clan of Belgian mullet-heads backdrop a heatfelt comedy

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

The Misfortunates moves from intentionally depressing to, in the end, mildly uplifting -- but that likely comes too late to win over an audience that's been strapped to such a vulgar, offputting ensemble.

June 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

It's perfectly plausible that you might never want to visit Belgium after seeing Felix van Groeningen's offensive '80s tale of familial dysfunction.

April 11, 2010 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

One thing's for certain though: The director's vision of this story allows for more uncertainty than Gunther's ever would.

April 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The white-trash Strobbe family is investigated with both ribaldry and poignance.

March 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

It's a Miserable Life

March 19, 2010 Full Review Source: JWR

Audience Reviews for De Helaasheid der Dingen (The Misfortunates)

The Misfortunates works well as a coming-of-age story, because the people involved feel connected to the material. In other words, director Felix Van Groeningen has made a film that isn?t just entertaining; it?s genuine, as well. For every offbeat nostalgic moment, there are five that depict alcohol abuse and sexual depravity. This isn?t a one-dimensional portrait, and Groeningen uses the pleasant elements of the movie to ease into the uglier ones. Wonderful performances and enticing direction. One of 2009's best.
May 13, 2010
michaelcorleone

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Beschissenheit der Dinge (DE)
  • The Misfortunates (De helaasheid der dingen) (UK)
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