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quietearth [Celluloid 08.26.12] Netherlands drama

How many sitcoms have we watched where the only girl gets the brunt of any family angst? Family Guy notoriously takes this trope to an extreme, and now Michiel ten Horn's first feature seems to do the same thing. With a heavy American indie feel, this looks like it's going to be an emotional rollercoaster - for the star anyways. Deflowering premiers at TIFF.

The middle-class household of the van End family gives all appearances of being, as they say, "perfect" — but as we soon find out, perfection comes with a price. And that price is most often paid by the youngest child, fifteen-year-old Eva (Vivian Dierickx), who is roundly ignored by her otherwise occupied family members. Her middle-manager father Evert (Ton Kas) is obsessed with improving efficiency at his work, when he isn't on Skype with a young kid in Africa, the only person he feels he can really talk to; her mother Etty (Jaqueline Blom) is struggling with a long-running bout of depression, and spends most of her time reprimanding her dope-dealing youngest son Manuel (Abe Dijkman) for his lack of ambition, while doting on eldest son Erwin (Tomer Pawlicki), an officious know-it-all who is obsessed with his impending nuptials. At school, meanwhile, Eva is just part of the background — and it doesn't help that while all her classmates are dressed to the nines, she prefers T-shirts adorned with cats. But everything changes when Eva signs up to board German exchange student Veit (Rafael Gareisen), who just happens to be very good-looking — and whose arrival soon upends the rigid hierarchy of the van End household.

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