pingpong (2006)

Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - Germany  |  
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A family's crises come to the surface in this drama, the first feature from filmmaker Matthias Luthardt. Stefan (Falk Rockstroh) and Anna (Marion Mitterhammer) are a petit bourgeois couple who live a comfortable if bland existence in the suburbs with their nebbishy son Robert (Clemens Berg), who they all but ignore. One day Stefan and Anna's teenage nephew Paul (Sebastian Urzendowsky) arrives at their home without warning and announces he's moving in; since Paul's father recently committed suicide, his aunt and uncle are not inclined to argue with him, and he begins earning his keep by fixing up the family's swimming pool, which they haven't used in years. Paul makes a token effort at bonding with Robert, but beyond playing ping pong they don't seem to have any common interests, though it doesn't take Anna long to realize that her nephew is sexually attracted to her. When Stefan is called away on business, Paul attempts to seduce Anna, though she seems to regard his efforts as quaint rather than arousing. Eventually, Paul can no longer deal with the tensions of the household, leading to an emotional explosion. Pingpong received its premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.