Center of My World
Die Mitte der Welt
In this audacious and sexy adaptation of a popular German novel, a self-confident teenage boy’s first dalliance with true love is challenged, and his unconventional family is nearly upended, by romantic betrayal and the unearthing of childhood secrets.
After a summer trip to French-language camp, the blond, delicately handsome, and emotionally attuned Phil returns to his family’s sprawling mansion (dubbed Visible) immediately following a destructive storm. Cursorily concerned with the extent of the damage, he discovers that his free-spirited single mother, Glass, and increasingly distant twin sister, Dianne, aren’t on speaking terms. In no rush to confront them during the carefree final days of his summer holiday, Phil escapes the mounting family tension in favor of some mindless fun with his ebullient best friend, Kat.
As the new school year gets underway, the smoldering, athletic Nicholas arrives, immediately catching Phil’s eye both in class and out. Their flourishing desire is mutual, and flashbacks reveal that the boys’ life paths intersect more than once. As the film oscillates between past and present, the unsettling repercussions of Glass’s unconventional parenting choices also come to light.
Austrian writer-director Jakob Erwa embraces the story’s melodramatic twists and doesn’t shy away from a sex-positive and full-frontal depiction of his confidently assured lead actors, taking the bold stylistic risks necessary to woo the young and the young at heart.
— CHRIS KEECH
- Language: In German with English subtitles