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The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  10 October 2012 (Belgium)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 26,005 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 57 user | 195 critic | 29 from

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.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johan Heldenbergh ...
Nell Cattrysse ...
Geert Van Rampelberg ...
Nils De Caster ...
Robbie Cleiren ...
Jimmy (as Robby Cleiren)
Bert Huysentruyt ...
Sofie Sente
Ruth Beeckmans ...
(as Ruth Beekmans)
Jan Hammenecker ...
Blanka Heirman ...
Kirsten Pieters
Yves Degryse
Dominique Van Malder


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 Tribeca Film

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 October 2012 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Krah razbijenog kruga  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,100 (USA) (1 November 2013)


$30,700 (USA) (15 November 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Official submission of Belgium to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category. See more »


Didier Bontinck: Bluegrass, that is Country in its purest form.
See more »


Features Mega Mindy (2006) See more »


Rueben's Train
Performed by The BCB Band
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User Reviews

A Worthy Oscar Contender
1 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watched this The Broken Circle Breakdown (BCB) immediately after viewing American Hustle AH), which is a Best Picture nominee, and while I enjoyed the latter, what struck me about it, even while I watched the movie, is that it tried too hard. The scenes seemed crafted for Academy voters. This feeling was solidified as I watched BCB, which, on the other hand, is a movie in which the emotions feel real and the acting appears genuine rather than forced.

Avid moviegoers are familiar with the happy-family-torn-apart-by-illness theme, but the marriage of that theme with American bluegrass music in a Belgian setting is novel. I have not seen any of the other Foreign Film contenders, but this one is more than worthy when juxtaposed against AH.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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