6.7/10
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5 user 55 critic

Belgica (2016)

The drama follows two brothers who start a bar and get swept up in its success in the midst of Belgium's nightlife scene.
4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stef Aerts ... Jo
Tom Vermeir Tom Vermeir ... Frank
Stefaan De Winter ... Ferre
Dominique Van Malder Dominique Van Malder ... Manu Dewaey
Ben Benaouisse Ben Benaouisse ... Momo
Boris Van Severen ... Tim Coppens
Sara De Bosschere Sara De Bosschere ... Nikki
Charlotte Vandermeersch ... Isabelle
Hélène De Vos Hélène De Vos ... Marieke
Jean-Michel Balthazar Jean-Michel Balthazar ... André
Bo De Bosschere Bo De Bosschere ... Wibo
Sam Louwyck Sam Louwyck ... Rodrigo
Anjana Dierckx Anjana Dierckx ... Katrien
Hannes Reckelbus Hannes Reckelbus ... Jan
Silvanous Saow Silvanous Saow ... Rudy Rasta
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Storyline

The drama follows two brothers who start a bar and get swept up in its success in the midst of Belgium's nightlife scene.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bar | smoking | cocaine | baby | urination | See All (40) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France

Language:

Flemish | Dutch

Release Date:

2 March 2016 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Café Belgica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color | Black and White (surveillance footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matthias Schoenaerts was cast as one of the lead brothers, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with Maryland (2015). Tom Vermeir was cast instead. See more »

Connections

References My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rough night that most will forget.
5 September 2017 | by enzoschollaertSee all my reviews

Another musical endeavor is what we get from one of Belgium's finest directors Felix Van Groeningen, after his Oscar-nominated 'The Broken Circle Breakdown'. Instead of looking at the artists making the music, we take a closer look at those providing a venue.

Based on the true history of Ghent's famous bar Charlatan we move to the other side of St. Jacob's Church in Ghent, to Café Belgica (the real bar named Afsnis): a child's dream of two alienated brothers (beautifully acted by Stef Aerts and Tom Vermeir) come true. Of course, these brothers aren't children anymore, and as their success grows, so do their dysfunctional realities beyond the dream.

'Belgica' is great, or at least the cafe is. Rarely have exuberant parties and decadent behaviour been put to the big screen with such style and . The camera flies around at a pace set by the beats of Soulwax in the middle of sweat, flirtation, dancing, yelling, and doing lines. A better party music clip has not been released since The Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up". However, just like any great party, there's a painful hangover looming up ahead. Life outside the cafe is not only boring for our brothers but also for us. Each subplot is dotted with forgetful two-dimensional characters; terrible acting performances (especially Charlotte Vandermeersch - Felix van Groeningen's wife no less - is extremely disturbing); and unoriginal ideas. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's a "style over substance" movie, but the substance that's there is decadently basic.

This isn't on the same level as Van Groeningen's two previous films, it does not shine as much in its originality nor its script. Yet it has made me pumped again for a good party, regardless of the drama afterwards. With its soundtrack playing in the background, I have to admit that I haven't felt that way in a long time.

★★★


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