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I Feel Lucky

By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014 Revised 11th June 2014


Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.
Revised 16th May 2014.
Revised 2nd January 2015


The circle breaks. They breakdown.

Wow. They really are star crossed lovers.

In Felix van Groeningen's "THE BROKEN CIRLCLE BREAKDOWN" (2011) our opportunity to be thoroughly rooted in the happiness of this couple, Elise (Veerle Baetens) & Didier (Johan Heldenbergh), is when we are watching the trailer or any of the promotional material. Because believe me once you come home Elise's image will be marred forever.

After a bit of a song, our opening scene is at the hospital bed of their child Maybelle (Nell Cattrysse). We are then picked up and buffeted around visiting random parts of love, obsession and upset in their happy, simple life together. Before we become too familiar with them visits to their past easily eclipse any distress they might be enduring but after people in their circle die the breakdown is irretrievable.

This was a beautiful film. It was unafraid of emotional depth and despair and twinned wonderfully with a life-style born of emotion rich impulse. Elise and Didier are self-starters who form their lives consciously. Even the colours Elise chooses to surround herself

with echo those she has incorporated in her tattoos. It's refreshing. We also enjoy the band, a bunch of musicians who are priest, family, entertainment and soul food.

There is a definite watershed moment, an after a person has died. What is going to happen next? Things seemed manageable before this. They were definitely going to be here before this. Now we don't know. We are strapped into our seats until the end.

Deaths are poetic. Grief is deeper and more devastating that any on this side of the screen and Elise and Didier feel them with more artistry than any of us could muster (including you).

They give credence to the vulgar phrase, "Those who love too much lose everything. Those who love with irony last." (Oliver Stone's "ALEXANDER" (2004)) For D&E there is no other way. Don't see "CHILD'S POSE" & "THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN" on the same day. There's so much grief being processed at the Australian cinema at the moment.

We are lucky to have access to this treatment of classic themes. It's such a gorgeous film. So never let you down. So tight. So brilliant. 10/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Felix van Groeningen's
Director Felix van Groeningen
Producer Dirk Impens (Menuet Belgium)
Stars Veerle Baetens (Elise), Johan Heldenbergh (Didier), Nell Cattrysse (Maybelle), Geert Van Rampelberg (William), Nils De Caster (Jock), Robby Cleiren (Jimmy), Bert Huysentruyt (Jef) & Jan Bijvoet (Koen)
Release Date 15th May 2014
Category Drama
Running Time 110 minutes (1 hour, 50 minutes)
Rating MA15+
Origin Belgium (Dutch)
Awards Academy Award® Winner BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Distributor Hopscotch Films
Official Blurb "Winner of The Best Foreign language film at the 2014 Academy Awards® and winner of the Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival, where it was raptuously received, "THE BROKEN CIRCLE
BREAKDOWN" is a remarkable drama about passion, parenthood, sorrow and joy. Propelled by music, the film tells the story of Elise and Didier - two unconventional star-crossed lovers, who fall for each other, despite their differences. He talks, she listens. He's a romantic atheiest, she's a free-spirited realist.

Told over a number of years, beautifully edited with a non-linear structure reeling backwards and forwards through time, we watch as the couple make a life together in a gorgeous country farmhouse, begin a bluegrass band and raise a beautiful daughter, Maybelle. When an unexpected tragedy arrives, everything they know and love is tested.

A director to watch, Flix van Groeningen has crafted a masterful, exuberant film. With entrancing and arresting performances from the two leads and a foot-stomping soundtrack, "THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN" miraculously seems to encompass all of human emotion and is a romantic melodrama of the highest order." - Hopscotch Films PR

Director: Felix van Groeningen
Photograph: Hans De Greve
(L-R) Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) & Elise (Veerle Baetens) in Felix van Groeningen's "THE BROKEN CIRLCLE BREAKDOWN" (2011).
(L-R) Elise (Veerle Baetens) & Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) in Felix van Groeningen's "THE BROKEN CIRLCLE BREAKDOWN" (2011).
(L-R) Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) & Elise (Veerle Baetens) in Felix van Groeningen's "THE BROKEN CIRLCLE BREAKDOWN" (2011).
The Band in Felix van Groeningen's "THE BROKEN CIRLCLE BREAKDOWN" (2011).