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Philadelphia Inquirer: The Misfortunates Review

Philadelphia Inquirer:

Not a great place to grow up, the Strobbe house: a cramped, ramshackle place with the toilet out back, a drunken father and three drunken uncles, their kindly but ineffectual mother pottering around, and Gunther - the protagonist of this very fine film from Holland - trying to focus on his schoolwork while mopping up the vomit and dodging the brawls.

The Misfortunates, a beautifully shot adaptation of a semiautobiographical novel by Dimitri Verhulst, toggles between black and white and color, between Gunther's stormy adolescence, with its boozings and beatings, and his adulthood, when he's an aspiring novelist (he has the rejection letters to prove it) with a wife he doesn't love and a baby he didn't want.