Mr. Nobody finally hits screens
by Aurore Engelen
Over six months after it failed to turn up at Cannes, and following artistic disagreements between the director and international seller Wild Bunch, which resulted in two new edited versions of the film (the decision being left to the distributor), this hybrid monster of a film, which has been the subject of intense speculation, finally hits screens.
It’s an understatement to say that this film was eagerly awaited, at a time when the Belgian French Community is concerned about audiences’ lack of enthusiasm for domestic cinema. A hoped-for saviour for Belgian cinema, it was pipped to the post in theatres by a low-budget film, which took some time to be completed (The Barons [+see also:
Interview with director and actress of…
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile] - 115,000 admissions).
With a colossal €33m budget, the biggest in the history of Belgian cinema, Mr Nobody arrives (a little too) weighed down by the hopes and fantasies of movie-goers. Van Dormael spent ten years "living", and trying to render on screen the rough outline of life, this apparent chaos that departs from all narrative conventions.
The film centres on Nemo, a little boy who is faced with an impossible choice, and from then on tries to experience all possible outcomes. These multiple lives are portrayed with captivating visual creativity, which springs from the director’s personal imagination (we are reminded of the poetic world of Toto the Hero), as well as science-fiction films and the graphic world of Schuiten and Peeters, who acted as artistic consultants for the parts of the film set in the future.
But beyond these intertwining narrative threads, what we seek and find is love, and we discover that it’s hard to tell who is the biggest dreamer between Nemo and Jaco. Launched by Belga Films on 35 screens, Mr. Nobody now has to win over audiences.
Other European releases this week include Daniel Alfredson’s The Girl Who Played with Fire [+see also:
film profile], which is being released on 19 movie screens in Belgium; and two French films: Eric Valette’s State Affairs [+see also:
film profile] and Alfred Lot’s A Spot of Bother [+see also:
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.