Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He's a romantic atheist, she's a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.
13-year-old Gunther Strobbe grows up surrounded by alcohol, trash and his completely useless father and uncles. Slowly but surely, he's being prepared for the same hapless life. Can he defy his destiny?
Felix van Groeningen
Koen De Graeve
Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
After losing her virginity, Isabelle takes up a secret life as a call girl, meeting her clients for hotel-room trysts. Throughout, she remains curiously aloof, showing little interest in the encounters themselves or the money she makes.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
An Iranian man deserts his French wife and her two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife's request for a divorce.
Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight. She has her own tattoo shop and he plays the banjo in a bluegrass band. They bond over their shared enthusiasm for American music and culture, and dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage - but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested. An intensely moving portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, propelled by a soundtrack of foot-stomping bluegrass, The Broken Circle Breakdown is a romantic melodrama of the highest order. Written by
Originally a play written by Johan Heldenbergh who also had the lead role as Didier. During the casting for the movie the original actress playing Elise was replaced by Veerle Baetens, which was Felix van Groeningens decision. See more »
This is definitely one of those films that is best seen with as little prior knowledge as possible. I saw The Broken Circle Breakdown at a small cinema in Plymouth with only a vague idea that it had something to do with bluegrass music, of which I knew hardly anything. The music was actually very good but the film is far from a story about Belgian musicians playing American music. In fact, this is a fairly simple tale and, although told in a interesting way, there isn't an awful lot going on. However, what this delightful film manages to do brilliantly is throw up some big questions on topics such as love, life & belief that really get you thinking.
The past-present-future style works well to gradually unfold the details of what is happening. I found that this added very much to the tension and emotion of the film, not unlike Incendies (2010) which, although very different in subject matter, had a similar feel. Broken Circle is not as 'heavy' as Incendies and even has several smile-worthy moments to balance out the intensity.
I can see why some people might be upset by certain anti-religious aspects of the film but I thinks it's healthy for beliefs to be challenged. Similarly, some people seem to have been annoyed by the time-line jumping about but I think this actually works to great effect, especially if you don't know anything about the story beforehand. Overall, I would highly recommend Broken Circle; it's refreshing to see something genuinely different that generates real feelings for the characters and stays with you for more than ten minutes after the ending! 8/10
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