Opening 5 Sep 2013
Perhaps the German title, which means “full, complete, and in the middle,” is a nice way of saying that nothing much happens to this simple Irish Casey family of father, mother, son and daughter. Actually, something did happen: Connor Casey (Edward MacLiam) had a stroke which effectively put him out of the mainstream or “changed his personality.” Now, he lives at home and functions marginally. Unable to communicate, he makes things out of wood in his workshop and develops a love for animals. This debilitation sets him comfortably into the middle of family attention to overshadow all other family concerns. This is too bad because Vanetia, wife and mother, is a vivacious red-head with a lust for life. Teenaged son Lenny is up against hard-core bullying and his own budding homosexuality. Connor’s parents, naturally concerned, become over involved in the family’s private lives. But wait: there is a fifth wheel in the household and that, as the saying goes, is unnecessary, if not downright disruptive. An American doctor named Ted Fielding (Will Forte) has a contract to live with the family to film the progress of the patient for two months, all in the name of research.
Although slow and low-key, you should see the film for the incredible acting of Maxine Peake as Vanetia, and, perhaps, to decipher the meaning of the English title, which is quite the opposite of “slow and low-key.” (Becky Tan)