North Sea Texas

"Extraordinary"

North Sea Texas Review


This gentle coming-of-age film is gorgeously shot and acted, sharply capturing those first feelings of love and loss. It's a powerful exploration of teen yearning, made even more remarkably by its sensitive approach to the characters' sexuality.

In a coastal Belgian town where his accordion-playing mother Yvette (Van der Gucht) is a minor celebrity, Pim (Florizoone) has a lively imagination, dressing as a princess while trying to find his place in the world. As he turns 15, his friendship with Gino (Vergels) shifts into something new, as they camp in the dunes and ride around on Gino's motorbike while exploring their sexuality. So when Gino ditches him for a girl, the devastated Pim retreats into his drawings. Then Yvette's achingly cool ex-lodger Zoltan (Coumans) returns to shake things up.

The gifted Defurne cleverly uses warmly textured cinematography, sound and editing to put us into Pim's perspective, so we see his fantasy and reality merging in ways he never expected. The film is packed with moments that truthfully reveal internalised feelings of joy and longing. And young actors Florizoone and Vergels give beautifully naturalistic performances that allow us to see into their souls regardless of what they say or do.

This is a remarkably honest depiction of adolescence with a terrific range of sharp characters. The mothers - both Pim's mother and Gino's (Damen) - see what's happening but have worries of their own. Gino's sister Sabrina (Kortekaas) is obsessively in love with Pim, while Yvette's semi-boyfriend Etienne (Wyns) feels stuck on the sidelines. All of them have vivid, full lives even though the film remains tightly focussed on Pim.

As it covers a span of years, the story encompasses a remarkable range of experiences and emotions, all portrayed with both artistry and authenticity.

There are moments that are heartbreakingly intense as well as beautifully hopeful. Defurne is a rare filmmaker who has the ability to combine life's light and dark moments in ways that force us to examine our own feelings and experiences. And while this film feels like it's heading for an unspeakable tragedy, it also has some pleasant surprises up its sleeve.



North Sea Texas

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd November 2012

Box Office USA: $27.4k

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 21 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Bavo Defurne

Producer: Yves Verbraeken

Starring: Jelle Florizoone as Pim, Mathias Vergels as Gino, as Yvette, Thomas Coumans as Zoltan, Luk Wyns as Etienne, Nina Marie Kortekaas as Sabrina, as Marcella

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