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The Broken Circle Breakdown - Film Review

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Published May 18th 2014


A 2012 film from Belgium and directed by Felix van Groeningen, starring Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens, The Broken Circle Breakdown has won an accolade of awards, including 'Best Screenplay' and 'Best Actress' awards at the Tribeca Film Festival. No surprise as the acting especially from Veerle Baetens is a force to be reckoned with.

The broken circle breakdown, movie, belgium, movie review, english subtitles, veerle baetens, johan heldenbergh, nell cattrysse
Starring Johan Heldenbergh, Vaeerle Baetens and Nell Cattrysse


Currently screening in selected cinemas, it is a story of passionate love, devastating loss, deep scars and blue grass music.

The broken circle breakdown, movie, belgium, movie review, english subtitles, veerle baetens, johan heldenbergh, nell cattrysse
A film about love, loss and blue grass music


I was certainly surprised to find out that the vocals belonged to the main actors, Veerle Baetens being an actor, singer and John Heldenbergh an actor, writer and director, and what a good job they did, especially with the song 'If I needed you', which was very believable and pregnant with emotion.

If you know nothing about blue grass music, this movie is likely to convert you into a fan of this wonderful sound that seemed to shape and support the movie throughout and had you in its grip.

The broken circle breakdown, movie, belgium, movie review, english subtitles, veerle baetens, johan heldenbergh, nell cattrysse
If I needed you, would you come to me ~ a song from the movie


A story of two people who live life passionately, Elise and Didier's daughter Maybelle becomes terminally ill at the age of seven. This movie cuts between the present and the past often, and depicts how life has changed since this devastating diagnosis.

Elise and Didier are totally in love and in lust with each other. They love their life, their daughter, and the bluegrass music they share. They perform together in a band, that is more than a band. They are family, always there to cradle and support them throughout their trials and tribulations.

The broken circle breakdown, movie, belgium, movie review, english subtitles, veerle baetens, johan heldenbergh, nell cattrysse
Blue Grass Band


This is a story of how each of them deals with what is happening in their lives; the sorrow, the realisation, self blame, and accusations. Will all this tear them apart or will they triumph and work through it? You're going to have to go to the movie to find out.

The acting is riveting as is the music. Great emotions are laid bare in the expressions of the actors. You will feel their love, their lust and their sorrows. If all the awards are anything to go by, I'd race along to the cinemas while it is still screening, so as not to miss out. I'm certainly glad I went along to see it and would gladly give it four and a half stars out of five.

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Why? Good foreign film
When: Now showing
Where: In selected cinemas
Cost: Varies
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