Centre of my World is a delicate German coming-of-ager – adapted by director Jakob Erwa from an Andreas Steinhöfel novel – in which sensitive late-teen Phil (Louis Hofmann) returns from camp one summer to find the small town he’d thought a paradise irrevocably altered: a storm has rearranged his usual reference points, distancing beloved sister Dianne and leaving free-spirit mother Glass even more emotionally fragile than when he left.
With great visuals and sublimely constructed character depth, Centre Of My World will immerse you in a dreamlike whirlwind of emotions, dark secrets and intricate relationships.
The film does not shy away from wholeheartedly tackling the most heartrending scenes and themes of the book it’s based on, piecing together one of the most tasteful coming-of-age stories in German cinema. It delves into a variety of abstract and controversial topics like abandonment, young gay relationships and self-discovery, all of which cleverly intertwine in its mesmerising cinematography and leave you with a sense of quiet surrender by its closing reel
The plot, albeit dynamic, does not have anything atypical or remarkably special about it – boy meets boy, they become a couple and later have a falling out. What keeps the viewer interested and even glued to the screen is the visually-gripping way in which the story is told, as well as the breathtaking performances. The secondary characters often bring more depth and secrecy to the story than the protagonists and keep you fully engaged even after the gay relationship between Phil and Nicholas (played by Jannik Schümann who just recently came out himself) is no longer in the spotlight