Review: Tiramisu (2008)


Tiramisu (2008)

Directed by: Paula van der Oest | 90 minutes | drama, comedy, romance | Actors: Rifka Lodeizen, Waldemar Torenstra, Anneke Blok, Dennis Overeem, Jacob Derwig, Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Bert Geurkink, Olga Zuiderhoek, Ricardo Husson, Martijn Nieuwerf, Sijtze van der Meer, Ria Marks, Matteo van der Grijn, Jara Lucieer, Thomas Cammaert

There is something natural about Paula van der Oest’s films that is very pleasant. In addition, she knows how to get good actors for whom she apparently manages to get enough money or motivation, which is an achievement in itself. Because take a film like ‘De Trip van Teetje’ (1998), with an excellent Cees Geel and Thekla Reuten; a modest film, with a warm heart and a wonderful script, fodder for Oscars, which unfortunately failed to materialize. Fortunately, it was raining Golden Calves. What is striking is that her best films are written by herself. That was the case for ‘De Trip van Teetje’, for ‘Zus & Zo’ (2001) and now also for ‘Tiramisu’ (=lift me, pull me out), perhaps not the best of the three, but still a nice one. . Especially beautiful are the inner conflicts and the nuance with which she shows them and sometimes not, so that a nice tension builds up, such as in the relationship between Jacob and his wife.

The story is believable except for one point: the actors will have liked that their world is portrayed so exuberantly, yet that is a bit over the top here and there. That an actress with bare breasts walks through the dressing room because she wants to show it on TV is a bit too much of a good thing. It’s all festive, but still. Again an excellent cast, led by Anneke Blok and Jacob Derwig. Derwig is without a doubt one of the best young actors in the Netherlands and does not contradict that with this role, although it is not necessarily an outlier. Most credits go to Anneke Blok, who shows many sides and lets the emotions flow freely.

Good supporting roles for Gijs Scholten van Aschat (beautiful key scene with Anneke on the boat), Olga Zuiderhoek and Rifka Lodeizen (this time without bare breasts), who is clearly ripe for another significant leading role. Worthy of special mention is the music, which was also perfectly fine in the aforementioned films (then by Fons Merkies) and which is once again very decisive for the overall atmosphere. This time a jazzy and sultry soundtrack by pianist/composer Michiel Borstlap. One of his themes is played by guitarist Jesse van Ruller, who knows how to move you to tears with his instrument. Gradually, Paula van der Oest can join the top players in the Netherlands. Quality has become her trademark, in images, in music, in the story and in the cast. All ingredients are nicely balanced in this ‘Tiramisu’, so that they reinforce each other. It makes for a tasteful, captivating film, modest as ever, but it stands.

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