Category Archives: Belgian

The Broken Circle Breakdown-2012

The Broken Circle Breakdown-2012

Director Felix Van Groeningen

Starring Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh

Scott’s Review #91


Reviewed July 3, 2014

Grade: B+

The Broken Circle Breakdown is a 2012 Belgian film nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

It tells a dark story of a couple, with very different religious beliefs- one atheist, the other a devout catholic, whose six-year-old daughter is battling cancer.

Their differences escalate over time as circumstances occur in their lives.

The film begins in 2006 but constantly goes back in forth in time from when the couple meets and falls in love and begins performing in a bluegrass band together, to their current dire situation in present times, which is a clever aspect of the film.

It is far from a by-the-numbers happy couple with sick daughter type of film. It is much deeper than that and quite depressing and dreary overall.

The pain and hardships this family goes through are heart-wrenching especially as the film focuses on the happy time in their lives to contrast the pain.

When the second half unfolds, the subjects of politics and religion are explored with the then (2002 time period) controversial topic of stem cell research discussed.

As dark as this film is to watch, it is also an important one as it steps outside of the box and tackles difficult subject matters.

I wish more films would do the same.

Oscar Nominations: Best Foreign Language Film