I’ve been meaning to write something about this since I saw one of the best films I’ve seen for ages at the 23rd Leeds International Film Festival earlier this year.
The Misfortunates follows the trials and tribulations of a highly dysfunctional Belgian family, the Strobbes. Gunther lives with his father, three uncles and grandmother and looks set for a ne’er-do-well adulthood just as his male heroes, all veritable Frank Gallagher types. Through copious amounts of alcohol (including a World Cup drinking game involving only Trappist ales), girlfriends, arguments, tears and more beers, the film is a retrospective look back from Gunther on his childhood and a peak into how he ended up.
It’s moving, hilarious and fantastically well acted and if you get half a chance to see this, I highly recommend you jump at the opportunity. Be warned there’s lots of unit-abusing drinking going on and whether it glamourises that or not, you’ll have to be your own judge. Hopefully right minded people can see through the exterior to the beautiful observations on life the film makes. And as far as portraying the typical Belgian drinker, takes it with the pinch of salt you would Shameless on Channel 4.
For a more revealing (well, maybe not!) trailer see below, although no subtitles unfortunately.