PROD Gijs van de Westelaken
SCR Diederik Ebbinge
CAM Dennis Wielaert
ED Michiel Reichwein
PROD DES Elza Kroonenberg
PROD CO Column Producties
Straight men don’t come much more straight-laced than Fred (the wonderfully deadpan Ton Kas). A devoutly religious widower, he’s replaced the companionship of his late wife and evicted son with the cold comfort offered by mind-numbing, persnickety routine. However, the natural order of his dreary existence is disrupted when Theo (René van ’t Hof)—a gentle, not-quite-right stranger—literally wanders into his life. Realizing that Theo possesses the mental faculties of a child, Fred finds himself thrust back into the role of father. As he strives to better his new charge’s lot in life, he discovers Theo’s special talent and director Diederik Ebbinge’s debut takes a turn for the bizarre (and surprisingly affecting).
Humane and hugely enjoyable, Matterhorn became the first Dutch film in 16 years to score Rotterdam’s Audience Award. It’s readily apparent why the unusual charms of Ebbinge’s tragicomedy about loneliness, love and liberation could sway even his notoriously dour countrymen. This is a film not just about the kindness of strangers, but also about the necessary chaos they introduce into our lives.
“What sets this film apart, though, is its finale, which builds towards an emotional crescendo that feels wholly earned… A dryly absurd comedy that ends with one hell of a pay-off, Matterhorn fully deserves all the accolades it’s been getting… In short: highly, highly recommended.”—Ard Vijn, Twitch