Years ago, Lepel's parents left for a hot air balloon world tour. He stays with granny Koppenol, a mean bitch who constantly exploits him for domestic chores, in her buttons shop and even ...
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Bonnie, a nine-year-old single child, is part of a family of three living in the Netherlands. They have a love of elephants, passed on by Bonnie's grandfather's grandfather who worked on a ... See full summary »
Tom van Kessel,
Carice van Houten
Years ago, Lepel's parents left for a hot air balloon world tour. He stays with granny Koppenol, a mean bitch who constantly exploits him for domestic chores, in her buttons shop and even as accomplice in the department store where she steals the buttons from clothes. After she won't even leave him the balloon that kind salesman Max gave him, Lepel, now 9, runs away. He meets Max's slightly older daughter Pleun. Schoolmaster Bijts is also looking for him, but only as arithmetics talent for an academic schools contest. Max accidentally finds out the sad truth about Lepel's family.Written by
I concur with what's been said here. A few additions:
Loes, Carice and Max (the three main adult characters) play caricatures rather than personages - and they do this very well. This was to be expected of Loes Luca, whose middle name is "absurd", but seeing how Carice van Houten pulls off painting a non-dimensional character is amazing. She leaves Max, Pell--- um, Lepel, and Pleun, and you - and your children or grandchildren - guessing for almost the entire duration of the film. I knew she could play character roles with many dimensions, but this role of her is an achievement in itself.
Perhaps that's a kids' eye view of adults - at least it makes it easier, even for someone pushing 50, to identify with the children.
Lepel is called Lepel because he wears a "bracelet" that consists of a strand with 5 cubes with letters on his wrist: L E P E L. Try to imagine these five letters in a circle. Now, push the first two letters around the circle so that they end up being the last two, and you get the boy's real name. Because he's lost his memory, he doesn't know this.
The fact that the alleged grandmother doesn't know the boy's name indicates that she is likely not be his real grandmother.
The film also lightly brushes the subject of autism - the main character has trouble dealing with social relationships, but is excellent with numbers.
All in all, an excellent, underrated film. Suitable for children, but there are layers in there that will please adults as well.
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