Toto the Hero
|Toto the Hero|
Jaco Van Dormael |
Didier De Neck|
Jaco Van Dormael
Jo De Backer
|Music by||Pierre van Dormael|
|Cinematography||Walther van den Ende|
|Edited by||Susana Rossberg|
|Country||Belgium, France, Germany|
Toto the Hero (French: Toto le Héros) is a 1991 Belgian film (co-produced with France and Germany) by Belgian film director and screenwriter Jaco Van Dormael. The film was selected as the Belgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 64th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
Ostensibly set in the near future, the film tells the life story of an elderly man named Thomas Van Hasebroeck (who has dubbed himself Toto, after a childhood fantasy), looking back on his ordinary, apparently uneventful life in a complex mosaic of flashbacks, interspersed with fantasies about how events might have turned out differently. It is not always possible to tell the difference between embellished or manufactured memories and fantasies, as Thomas is a very unreliable narrator, but some scenes (such as the narrative thread that features Toto as a secret agent) are definitely fantasized.
Thomas firmly believes his life to have been "stolen" from him by Alfred Kant, born at the same time as Thomas, who Thomas believes was inadvertently switched with himself as a baby (characteristically, the film remains ambiguous as to whether this substitution ever actually happened, with Thomas' only substantiation being his apparent vivid memory of the day he was born). Thomas' jealousy of Alfred has overshadowed all his life, often with tragic consequences for his loved ones, and he is plotting revenge. Throughout most of the film, his intended revenge takes the shape of a plot to kill Alfred, but in the end Thomas finds a more creative and surprising way to "take back" his life.
Paramount Pictures has yet to announce any plans to release the film onto DVD in North America. It is available on DVD in the UK and mainland Europe.
- Michel Bouquet as Thomas (old man)
- Jo De Backer as Thomas (adult)
- Thomas Godet as Thomas (child)
- Gisela Uhlen as Evelyne (old woman)
- Mireille Perrier as Evelyne (young woman)
- Sandrine Blancke as Alice
- Michel Robin as Alfred (old's voice)
- Peter Böhlke as Alfred (old man)
- Didier Ferney as Alfred (adult)
- Hugo Harold Harrison as Alfred (child)
- Fabienne Loriaux as Thomas' Mother
- Klaus Schindler as Thomas' Father
- Pascal Duquenne as Celestin (adult)
- Karim Moussati as Celestin (child)
- Didier De Neck as Mr. Kant
- Christine Smeysters as Mrs. Kant
- Bouli Lanners as Gangster
- List of submissions to the 64th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Belgian submissions for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film