Wolfsbergen | Chicago Reader

Wolfsbergen

Great life events—and death inevitably is one—try the most cohesive families in the best of times, so what chance do already estranged relatives have when their patriarch announces he no longer wants to live? The watery light of the Netherlands defines the mood of writer-director Nanouk Leopold's existential chamber piece about a Dutch clan that has lost its moorings: a middle-aged couple barely touches or speaks; their bitchy older daughter (Tamar van den Dop) carries on with her former lover years after she's married someone else, while the younger single daughter (Karina Smulders) is perilously thin-skinned. When the dying man's son-in-law (Jan Decleir of Memory of a Killer) takes his elder's declaration seriously, the group decamps to the family country estate to contemplate mortality. Skilled pros Decleir and van den Dop are the reasons to watch this story, which otherwise is Bergman lite. In Dutch with subtitles. 95 min.

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