Antoine Cuypers, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands 2015, 105 min
Are the members of this well-to-do family closely united, or actually condemned to being with one another? This and other thorny questions arise when a festive home dinner takes an unexpected turn. In his first feature film, Antoine Cuypers gives his own take on this familiar theme.
Thirty-two-year-old Cédric still lives with his parents and struggles with mental problems. When his sister announces she is pregnant, he is the only one who doesn’t respond to the news with joy. On the contrary, he provokes, rakes up old sores and thereby causes the first cracks in the hitherto carefully cherished harmonious façade – the beginning of a confrontation full of frustration, suspicion and shattered illusions.
Cuypers, who says he feels an affinity with the early Michael Haneke, aims at a balance between the strong ensemble of actors and his self-assured visual and artistic choices, which sometimes give the overall realism a mysterious touch and reinforce the sense of discomfort. A tragedy in which it is not easy to determine who deserves our sympathy.
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