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Lorna’s Silence-Movie Review 03/21/2014

Posted by Films to consider in Action/Thriller, Belgian/French language film, Cannes Film Festival, César Awards, Drama, Emotional Drama, European Film Awards, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Lumière Awards, Movies, Suspense, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.
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LORNA’S SILENCE (Belgian/French) 2008
Le silence de Lorna

Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
Starring Arta Dobroshi, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, and Alban Ukaj

WINNER, Best Screenplay and NOMINATED, Palme d’Or (Dardenne & Dardenne), Cannes Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Film (Dardenne & Dardenne), César Awards
NOMINATED, Best Actress (Dobroshi), European Film Awards
WINNER, Best French Language Film (Dardenne & Dardenne), Lumière Awards
NOMINATED, Best Actress (Dobroshi), Toronto Film Critics Association Awards

Lorna (Dobroshi) a young Albanian woman, is in a scheme to make money and create a new life with her boyfriend. She agrees to a fake marriage to Claudy (Renier), a heroin junkie in Belgium. After she becomes a Belgian citizen, the junkie will no longer be necessary. Lorna, as you might expect, is in cahoots with some very shady characters, and they won’t let their plan go awry.

The movie’s ending is unforeseen, and while it ends this part of Lorna’s story in a satisfactory way, her overall plight is unresolved. Her emotional turmoil remained so intriguing I could have watched part two.

105 min. Rated R.


The Fairy-Movie Review 06/02/2013

Posted by dbinder in Belgian/French language film, Comedy, Hamptons International Film Festival, Movies, Romantic comedy, Stockholm Film Festival.
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The Fairy (French) 2011
La Fée

Starring Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon
Written and directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and Bruno Romy

NOMINATED, Saturn Award-Best International Film, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, USA
WINNER, Golden Starfish Award, Narrative Feature (Abel, Gordon, and Romy), Hamptons International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Bronze Horse (Abel, Gordon, and Romy), Stockholm Film Festival

A very quirky comedy/romance about Dom (Abel), an unmotivated hotel clerk in Le Havre who meets Fiona (Gordon), a self-proclaimed fairy. She promises to grant Dom three wishes; he uses up two, she disappears, and he races to find her. Thus begins a most unusual romantic adventure.

Not a big award winner, and the humor in this film (much of it physical humor) is probably not for everyone. At first, I wasn’t too taken with it, but it grew on me. It’s certainly an unusual story. And I trust no babies were injured in the making of the movie. ☺

93 min. Not rated. Not suitable for children.


The Child (L’enfant)-Movie Review 10/05/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Belgian/French language film, Drama, French language film, Movies.
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The Child (Belgian/French) 2005
released on DVD as L’enfant

Among other awards and nominations:
Winner, Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival
Nominated, Best Director; Best Film; Best Writing-Original; Most Promising Actress (Déborah François), César Awards (France)

Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
Starring Jérémie Renier as Bruno and Déborah François as Sonia

In a rough, drab, industrialized section of a French-speaking city in Belgium, a young unmarried couple who hardly seem more than children themselves become parents to baby Jimmy. The mother, Sonia, acts responsibly (if not overly maternally) toward the child, but the father, Bruno, is an uncaring petty thief who makes Genghis Khan seem like Father of the Year.

“Take Jimmy for a walk,” Sonia suggests, while the three are waiting in a long line. Always embroiled in his day-to-day deals of cash for stolen goods, Bruno sees an opportunity and makes a transaction that is beyond belief. Whether he can ever make up for his impulsive act remains, in the end, for the viewer to decide.

The accompanying interview with the Dardenne brother-team of directors is very interesting, but don’t watch it ahead of time as I think it gives too much away. It does offer an explanation for why baby Jimmy struck me as the world’s quietest and least complaining newborn.

100 min. Rated R. Adult themes.