La fille inconnue [The Unknown Girl] (2016)

La fille inconnue
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cast: Adèle Haenel,Olivier BonnaudLouka Minnella, Jérémie Renier, Christelle Cornil, Nadège Ouedraogo, Olivier Gourmet, Fabrizio Rongione, Thomas Doret, Marc Zinga
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 28.10.2016

Plot:
Jenny (Adèle Haenel) runs a clinic in a rather poor area of town that she just took over from a now retired doctor. She’s the only doctor in the clinic and does her best,but also knows that she has to fight for her boundaries. So when the bell to her clinic is rung shortly after closing time, she ignores it, despite being still there. The next day, police show up at the clinic, informing her that they found the body of a dead young woman and they don’t know who she is. But it appears that it was her who rung the bell. Jenny is shocked and becomes obsessed with finding out who the woman was and what happened to her.

La fille inconnue was the perfect Double Feature with I, Daniel Blake. Like that film, it’s sociopolitical cinema that wears its heart on its sleeve and is absolutely (emotionally) engaging.

Continue reading

La Sapienza [Wisdom] (2014)

La Sapienza
Director: Eugène Green
Writer: Eugène Green
Cast: Fabrizio Rongione, Christelle Prot, Ludovico Succio, Arianna Nastro
Part of: Scope50
Seen on: 21.02.2015

Plot:
Alexandre (Fabrizio Rongione) and Aliénor (Christelle Prot) have been married for a while and everything seems to be going fine, even if a little stale, maybe. Alexandre, an architect, decides that he wants to finally write the book on Borromini he’s had in his head forever and for that he has to travel to Switzerland, then Italy. Aliénor spontaneously decides to come with him. When they arrive in Borromini’s birth town, they run into the siblings Goffredo (Ludovico Succio) and Lavinia (Arianna Nastro). Aliénor is immediately intrigued and she convices Alexandre to take budding architect Goffredo on his trip to Italy, while she will stay with the sickly Lavinia. Through the eyes of the young siblings, they themselves start to rediscover their own joy.

La sapienza is a film that talks about emotions, but only from a rational perspective. While that starts off interesting, it ends up being a little too stiff and distant, giving the film not inconsiderable lengths. But it’s still interesting enough.

lasapienza Continue reading

Deux jours, une nuit [Two Days, One Night] (2014)

Deux jours, une nuit
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée

Plot:
Due to depression Sandra (Marion Cotillard) has been unable to work for a while but she’s about ready to come back. That’s when she hears that her co-workers had to choose by vote between her returning to work or them getting a substantial bonus each, and they chose the bonus. Her friend Juliette (Catherine Salée) helps her to convince her boss to take the vote again on Monday, giving Sandra two days time to convince enough of her co-workers to vote for her to keep her job and forgo their bonuses.

Deux jours, une nuit has a simple set-up and structure, but one it uses extremely effectively to tackle very complex issues in a thoughtful manner. I loved it.

deuxjoursunenuit Continue reading

Le silence de Lorna (Lorna’s Silence) [2008]

Le silence de Lorna or Lorna’s Silence is a Belgian movie by writers/directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. It stars Arta Dobroshi and Jérémie Renier.

Plot:
Lorna (Arta Dorbroshi) is an Albanian immigrant in Belgium. To get the Belgian nationality, she married junkie Claudy (Jérémie Renier), a coup arranged by Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione), a small time criminal on the rise. After she’s got her nationality, Fabio plans to kill Claudy so that Lorna can marry a rich Russian also in search of the Belgian nationality. And then, things get really fucked up.

Le silence de Lorna is not a feel good movie. [Ha! That might well be the understatement of the year.] But it’s one that’s incredibly well acted, well written and well done in general. It’s just so very depressing…

silencedelorna

[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

Continue reading