Directors’ Showcase / UK premiere

Tiramisu

  • Paula van der Oest /
  • Netherlands /
  • 2007 /
  • 90 mins

Anneke Blok, Jacob Derwig, Olga Zuiderhoek, Rifka Lodeizen / Fiction / Dutch

The sweetest film of the Festival, and not a calorie in sight.

?While no longer in the flush of youth, prominent theatre actor Anne (Anneke Blok) remains a formidable force of nature – both on the stage and at the cash registers. Yet her self-containment is estranging Anne from both her daughter and ex-husband – who admits she will always be his muse. It is not until her new, über-monotonous book-keeper Jacob (Jacob Derwig) states her profligacy has resulted in foreclosure on her beloved houseboat that she accedes to help. As a quid pro quo between art and responsibility emerges, Anne’s exuberance affects Jacob’s dull socks-on approach to life, compelling him to save her home. But this comes at a price: he begins to neglect his own wife’s needs. Re-teaming writer/director van der Oest with lead actress Blok after 2001’s Zus & Zo, Tiramisu is an honest delight, a post-feminist joy that refuses to contain Anne within the home, while providing a resoundlingly warm ending without hegemonic compromise. Free from post-modern ironic distanciation and theatrically existential cul-de-sacs (there are no characters called Vogler here), it instead chooses to do something far more difficult: it urges you to connect. Without a doubt, it is the most refreshingly candid dramatic comedy to emerge since Lone Scherfig’s Italian for Beginners. It would be a disservice to all involved to suggest Blok carries this alone. But it is impossible to conceive Tiramisu without her deft intertwining of the impervious with the sensuous. Her craft is a mesmerising tour de force, a turn that must have her American counterparts envious of the range she is allowed to explore. Concomitant to this marvellous characterisation is the sheer emotional generosity of the film’s tone. And it is this all-welcoming humanity that is Tiramisu’s truest strength. That, and the uncomfortable realisation that Jacob’s Sage software version of seduction was not plucked out of the ether. Men: watch and learn…

2008 Archive

Image from Tiramisu

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