Review: The Nobel laureate (2010)

The Nobel laureate (2010)

Directed by: Timo Veltkamp | 93 minutes | drama | Actors: Marc van Uchelen, Harry van Rijthoven, Carly Wijs, Chloé Leenheer, Rifka Lodeizen, Femke Lakerveld, Justus van Oel, Martijn Fischer, Ruben Brinkman, Rein Edzard de Vries, Bart Klever, Sieger Sloot, Raymond Thiry, Jasper Boeke, Sabrina van Halderen, Geert Lageveen, Myranda Jongeling, Laura de Boer, Hidde Pel, Niels Croiset, Lieke-Rosa Altink, Has Drijver, Katrien van Beurden, Anne Beentjes, Miranda Koelemeijer, Luca Romagnoli, Matthijs Kat

‘The Nobel Prize Winner’ is director Timo Veltkamp’s feature film debut, shot in atmospheric black and white. Joachim West (Marc van Uchelen) spent ten years working on his book on his old typewriter. He is on black seed, his landlord threatens to evict him because of rent arrears. His publisher Lea (Carly Wijs) does not want to give him an advance. She has no faith in his writing skills. Lea has her own not insignificant problems with the well-known bestseller writer Fabian Remarque (Harry van Rijthoven). His relationship is broken and he has been struggling with writer’s block for some time. In addition, in ‘The Nobel Prize Winner’ there are developments around a young girl who becomes pregnant and a striptease dancer who is also not having an easy time. All the characters in this mosaic layout are brought together with a nice find. The door-to-door salesman of funeral insurance Bert De Brauw (nice role by Martijn Fischer) – who pretends to be a pollster – visits them all and thus introduces them to the storyline.

If Joachim thinks that his manuscript will not be published after all, he throws the already stamped envelope with the manuscript in his wastepaper basket. His room is meanwhile vacated by the landlord, he is on the street. The landlord finds the envelope and puts it on the bus anyway – it’s already stamped anyway. Overwhelmed by the power of the book, publisher Leah sets out to find Joachim. This one has found shelter with the Salvation Army. When Leah arrives, he hides and a roommate declares that Joachim has died. Lea smells her chance to get out of trouble. She convinces Florian Remarque of the quality of the manuscript and decides to publish it under Florian’s name. Plagiarism, but her publishing house needs money and Florian Remarque urgently needs a new success, so….

However, the problems and complications begin to pile up. Joachim is still alive, recognizes his lyrics. Everyone is chasing everyone and the tabloid press begins to smell danger and ask tough questions. Blackmail is not shunned. So it is time for very drastic measures!

In addition to this main line in the story, there are some subplots that are not always very well-balanced. With such a low budget approach, that is almost inevitable and in the whole of this sympathetic film it does not weigh heavily. The game is not completely convincing in all cases, but Marc van Uchelen plays the role of Joachim West with flair. The ending and the moral of the story have some surprising developments. ‘The Nobel Prize winner’ is full of slightly absurdist traits and black humor. Filmed on an extremely low budget, there is plenty to enjoy because of the sometimes bizarre developments and a number of amusing scenes.

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