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One winter's day Jacob and his sister Marie are left behind in the woods by their unemployed father. In his coat Jacob finds a note from his mother urging them to go to their uncle in Spain... See full summary »


Alex van Warmerdam


Otakar Votocek (contributing writer), Alex van Warmerdam
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Teresa Berganza Teresa Berganza ... Mother (as Maria Teresa Berganza)
Johan Leysen ... Father
Halina Reijn ... Maria
Jacob Derwig ... Jacob
Frank Lammers ... Farmer
Annet Malherbe ... Farmer's wife
Jaap Spijkers Jaap Spijkers ... Horewhopper
Laura Cepeda ... Dolores
Lola Peno Lola Peno ... Woman on balcony
Fernando Moraleda ... Man on balcony
Ulises Dumont ... Luis
Carmelo Gómez ... Diego
Peggy Sandaal Peggy Sandaal ... Sofia
Elvira Mínguez ... Teresa
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Don Felipe


One winter's day Jacob and his sister Marie are left behind in the woods by their unemployed father. In his coat Jacob finds a note from his mother urging them to go to their uncle in Spain. They arrive in Spain only to find that their uncle has died. Marie meets Diego, a rich surgeon, and falls in love with him. Diego lives with his domineering sister Teresa. Marie marries Diego. Jacob keeps jealously trying to tear his sister away from Diego. His efforts are in vain and Jacob starts to provoke Diego. It soon becomes clear that Jacob's defiance won't go unpunished... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Official Sites:

Official site [Netherlands]




Dutch | Spanish

Release Date:

4 December 2003 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Grimm re-edit See more »

Filming Locations:

Almería, Andalucía, Spain See more »


Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Graniet Film BV See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| | (2019 Re-Edit)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Alex van Warmerdam hated the original cut of the film that was edited by Stefan Kamp, and has since excluded it from every retrospective and DVD box-set of his collected works. As an experiment, he started to re-edit a few scenes on video with Job ter Burg, his regular editor since The Last Days of Emma Blank (2009). The result was so satisfying that they secured time and budget to re-edit the entire movie over a period of four years. The new version was released at the 2019 Dutch Film Festival, and received a new theatrical run. Van Warmerdam has been quoted as saying that viewers should throw the old cut of the film in the trashcan. See more »

Alternate Versions

2019 Re-Edit See more »


Referenced in Het glazen huis: Zelfbeheersing (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty, but doesn't have much substance
30 June 2007 | by daliso_leslieSee all my reviews

This film has a rather impressive billing, with the version I rented stated "siblings Jacob and Marie embark on a surreal, often night-marrish odyssey." The movie starts out Hansel and Gretel-esquire in that regard, but doesn't move much further. There is a journey to be had, if one is interested in following two characters whom they know little about through different cities where they meet different people. The meetings have very little value to them, however, and the characters often meet conflict that is unexplained. Furthermore, movement between locales is poorly motivated and a unified agenda never sets imposes itself. If these meetings were accompanied by the surrealism that the movie billing suggests, I could have still walked away happily, but unfortunately the surrealism in the meetings is itself limited because much of what could have made a scene eerie is left unaddressed. As far as the comedy, the movie fails to win stars in that department as well. There are two or three hilarious encounters, but most of the comedy is a sort of "why would anybody do that" type of humor. Suits some, obviously. On the whole, the film is built for people with short memory spans, as segments really don't have any connection to each other. This fact is acceptable for the first 40 minutes, but by the 41st, you will certainly ask yourself why you are still watching, hoping that something relevant will occur.

I cannot totally smash the movie, however, as the colors were quite vibrant and the journey itself is something that certain watchers might find interesting in its own right. Also, it must be said that Halina Reijn, the lead female, is exciting to watch. Her facial expressions, her candor in front of camera. Of course, she's beautiful. I should also mention that a greater understanding of the Brothers Grimm and their folk tales might lend itself to a greater appreciation of the film. It was clear that this was the case with the 2005 Matt Damon film, but with this one, it is less obvious whether a greater understanding of the tales would make Grimm better.

If you're going to watch it, make sure you school yourself on the back story (the Brother's Grimm tales).

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