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Center Of My World (Reel Q)

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Oct 17, 2017
'Center of My World'
'Center of My World'  

When German high schooler Phil (Louis Hoffman) returns from summer camp he is greeted so enthusiastically by his mother Glass (Sabine Timoteo) and his best friend Kat (Svenja Jung) it's as if he'd been away for much longer than three weeks. We soon discover that both these women tend to act melodramatically over almost every little thing. It is only his twin sister Dianne (Ada Philine Stappenbeck) who all but ignores him, as she has obviously fallen out with their hippy mother over some issue and is now behaving in a surly and secretive manner.

The family lives in a rambling old fairy-tale house, called Visible for some unexplained reason, in a small provincial country town. Glass, quite the free spirit, has always refused to disclose the identity of the twins' father, which is a major source of irritation to Phil and seems to add to his feelings of insecurity. Glass seems to work through a whole series of lovers with an insatiable appetite, and the moment any of them try to get close to her she immediately discards them.

The story, however, is not about her relationships, but rather about young Phil, who is immediately awestruck when a handsome newcomer joins his class in school. Despite watching Nicholas (Jannik Schümann) sprint around the track every day, Phil makes no effort to talk to him; he assumes that because Nicholas is such a hottie, he's out of Phil's league. It turns out that not only is Nicholas very obtainable, he also makes the first move and hits on Phil in a very steamy scene set in the school showers.

From then on, a besotted Phil is totally hooked. He persuades two middle-aged lesbian friends of his mother to loan him the use of their summer house for his trysts with Nicholas. Phil even overcomes the potentially tricky situation of introducing his best friend to his new boyfriend and is surprised to discover that not only do they all get along but also from that moment the three of them are inseparable.

It is obvious that the deeply sensitive Phil may have to deal with the possibility that what he has with Nicholas will not last forever. He is, however, so blinded by his infatuation that it never occurs to him that Nicholas is anything less than perfect.

Austrian filmmaker Jakob M. Erwa adapted Andreas Steinhöfel prize-winning novel, and the fact he may have been sticking somewhat closely to the source material may be the reason that the subplots involving the twin sister and, to an extent, the mother, are distractions from what is otherwise a charming coming-of-age tale. There is nothing extraordinary in the main thrust of the story, but the movie is filmed beautifully, with the good-looking cast members very convincing in their roles -- in and out of their clothes.

Center of My World

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Runtime :: 115 mins
Release Date :: Nov 10, 2016
Language :: Silent
Country :: Germany


Director :: Jakob Erwa

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.


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