Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight. She has her own tattoo shop and he plays the banjo in a bluegrass band. They bond over their shared enthusiasm for American music and culture, and dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage – but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested. An intensely moving portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, propelled by a soundtrack of foot-stomping bluegrass, The Broken Circle Breakdown is a romantic melodrama of the highest order.(Imdb)
The Observer , Sunday 20 October 2013
Belgium’s submission for the 2014 foreign language film Oscar category is a powerful and haunting tale of love, death and bluegrass – a mournful song played on a broken instrument, with striking visual accompaniment.
Presenting its central relationship in a Blue Valentine-style broken-backed montage of past and present, this shimmering adaptation of Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels’s play slips between the couple’s first passionate encounters and their later battles against the illness that threatens to rob them of their most treasured possession.
He is hairy and obsessed with Americana; she is tattooed and wears a cross; they meet in the unexpected harmony of their voices, singing arcane songs about this world and the next to the accompaniment of bull fiddle, banjo and slide guitar. As the cruelties of life bite deep and their child is endangered, their worldviews diverge, a meditation upon mortality and transcendence emerging naturally from the landscape of folk songs and spirituals. Committed performances add to the appeal, provoking tears that are more than sentimental as the interweaving themes rise and fall like competing melodies – poignant, affecting and precise.