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The Broken Circle Breakdown-Movie Review *** 05/15/2015

Posted by Films to consider in Academy Awards, César Awards, Drama, Emotional Drama, Flemish language film, Movies, Norwegian Int'l Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival.
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The Broken Circle Breakdown (Flemish) 2012 ***

Directed by Felix Van Groeningen
Starring Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh

Among many other awards and nominations:
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, Academy Awards
WINNER, Best Foreign Film (van Groeningen), César Awards
WINNER, Audience Award (van Groeningen ), Norwegian International Film Festival
WINNER, Best Motion Picture-International, Satellite Awards
WINNER, Best Actress-Narrative Feature (Baetens); Best Screenplay (Carl Joos and Felix Van Groeningen); NOMINATED, Best Narrative Feature (Van Groeningen),Tribeca Film Festival

In Belgium, Elise (Baetens) and Didier (Heldenbergh) meet and fall in love. Elise is a tattoo artist; Didier is a singer with a band that plays American country music. They marry and have a daughter, but soon the couple must face a heartbreaking tragedy that strikes their family.

Highly recommended.

111 minutes. Not rated (adult themes).


Moscow, Belgium-Movie Review 07/22/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Cannes Film Festival, Denver International Film Festival, European Film Awards, Flemish language film, Light Drama, Movies, Romantic comedy, Zurich Film Festival.
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Moscow, Belgium (Belgian) 2008

Directed by Christopher Van Rompaey
Starring Barbara Sarafian, Jurgen Delnaet, and Johan Heldenbergh

Among other awards and nominations:
WINNER, ACID Award (Van Rompaey); Grand Golden Rail (Van Rompaey); SACD Screenwriting Award (Van Rijckeghem and Van Beirs), Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, Krzysztof Kieslowski Award: Best Feature Film and Best Film (Van Rompaey), Denver International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Composer (Tuur Florizoone), European Film Awards
WINNER, Jury Award-Best Actress (Sarafian); Youth Grand Prize-Best Film (Van Rompaey), Mediawave Hungary
WINNER, New Talent Award (Van Rompaey), Zurich Film Festival

An enjoyable romantic comedy, with the emphasis on comedy as the romance itself is funny (and unpredictable). Matty (Sarafian) is a harried mother of three whose husband Werner (Heldenbergh) has moved out as part of a midlife crisis. When Matty’s car backs into a truck owned by Johnny (Delnaet), the younger man becomes smitten with her. Although Johnny has a volatile temper and seems to be no big prize, Matty experiences something of a midlife crisis of her own.

As the awards indicate, many aspects of this film are worth noting, chief among them the fast-paced dialogue and Barbara Sarafian’s performance. Her facial expressions portray the complex range of emotions that Matty undergoes, making the decisions she makes more plausible.

106 min. Not rated. Suitable for older teens and adults.

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Ben X-Movie Review 10/28/2011

Posted by Films to consider in Academy Awards, Drama, European Film Awards, Film Movement, FIPRESCI Award, Flemish language film, Greg Timmermans, Movies, Nic Balthazar.
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Ben X (Flemish) 2007

OFFICIAL ENTRY, Best Foreign Film, Academy Awards
WINNER Grand Prize; Audience Award for Most Popular Film; Ecumenical Jury Prize, Montreal World Film Festival
WINNER FIPRESCI Award, Istanbul International Film Festival
WINNER, Audience Award; Directors Choice Award, Sedona International Film Festival
WINNER, Heineken Red Star Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION, Berlin International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Audience Award (Balthazar), European Film Awards

From Film Movement
Directed by Nic Balthazar
Starring Greg Timmermans, Marijke Pinoy, Pol Goossen, and Laura Verlinden

Ben is a high school student who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism that affects his ability to communicate. Ben lives in a world of rituals that serve to allay his anxiety, and he is severely ostracized in school. He spends much of his spare time in an online computer game world, where he befriends Scarlite. When Ben reaches his limit because of the bullying at school, Scarlite helps him come up with the perfect way for him to resolve the situation.

An award-winning debut film for director Nic Balthazar and a moving performance by Greg Timmermans in his first role after graduating from film school.

93 mins. Unrated. Suitable for teens.