De Helaasheid der Dingen (The Misfortunates) (2010)
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 19
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 973
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;
Apr 9, 2010 Limited
Oct 19, 2010
NeoClassics Films - Official Site
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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.
A bawdy, heartfelt glimpse into a proudly dysfunctional Belgium family.
The Misfortunates is a bleak comedy that's not as funny or grim as it needs to be.
There's whimsy and raunchy humor here, but also an underlying sense of darkness and despair.
An appalling childhood may risk making you an unhappy person when you grow up, but it almost guarantees a great yarn.
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.
It's perfectly plausible that you might never want to visit Belgium after seeing Felix van Groeningen's offensive '80s tale of familial dysfunction.
One thing's for certain though: The director's vision of this story allows for more uncertainty than Gunther's ever would.
The white-trash Strobbe family is investigated with both ribaldry and poignance.
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