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The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)

This is not a Happy Story ... — Written by Solhanne on 20.11.2013

...but it might be the best movie I’ve seen this year. Be aware, this review contains spoilers.

Didier Bontinck (Johan Heldenbergh) is a bluegrass playing atheistic romantic and Elise Vandevelde (Veerle Baetens) is a tattooed religious realist. They meet, and instantly fall in love. They settle on Didiers little farm, and soon Elise is pregnant. Jump ahead 7 years, and their daughter is diagnosed with leukemia, and their relationship takes a turn for the worse.

Belgium's entry for this years (2013) Oscar race, is a study in love and grief, carried through the film on a pillow of bluegrass music. The music almost acts as a third character in the movie, and is often used to help conveying the main characters emotional states. Not that they need it, because the acting is sublime.

The editing is something else to pay attention to. The Story frequently jumps in time over the approximately 8 years it is told. We are not always told that a jump has been made. In the beginning of the movie, we are not always aware that a jump has been made, but it’s not confusing, and by the end, all the jumps are clear and nicely tied in the story.

The film is an emotionally roller coaster with ups and downs. I challenge you to not at some point to get choked up. It certainly comes in the top three of films I’ve seen this year, the other two being Broken and What Maisie Knew.

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The Broken Circle Breakdown Reviews