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The Broken Circle Breakdown (English Subtitled) 2014 TV-MA CC

A tattoo artist and a musician fall in love at first sight in this intensely romantic portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, set to an electrifying bluegrass score. In Dutch with English subtitles.

Starring:
Johan Heldenbergh, Veerle Baetens
Runtime:
1 hour, 51 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Music
Director Felix van Groeningen
Starring Johan Heldenbergh, Veerle Baetens
Supporting actors Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils De Caster, Robbie Cleiren, Bert Huysentruyt, Jan Bijvoet, Sofie Sente, Ruth Beeckmans, Jan Hammenecker, Blanka Heirman, Kirsten Pieters, Yves Degryse, Dominique Van Malder, Marianne Loots, Sanderijn Helsen, Siham El Makhfi, Maxime Neyt, Maurice Leerman
Studio Tribeca Film
MPAA rating TV-MA
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I never do reviews online, leaving them for people who actually care about reviews, but this movie deserves it. While absolutely heart-breaking, it was one of the most beautiful movies I have seen in a long time. And the music: spot on. As a native Alabaman now living in Brooklyn (which has a surprisingly strong bluegrass scene), I was wary of a Dutch movie featuring bluegrass music, but the actors had amazing voices and I found the music to be the backbone of this very hauntingly sad film.
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Format: DVD
On the face of it, this is a simple and alas reasonably common tale : - man and woman meet, fall in love, have a time of bliss, and a child, who intensifies and changes their bliss, and then some tragedy strikes the child, and everything is changed utterly, and unravels into pain all the way.

This isn’t too much of a spoiler, as the opening of the film shows a small child in hospital, being talked through receiving something intravenously, and we see from the parents’ expressions this is not going to be good, and immediately the viewer knows where we are heading.

Any individual story is only going to work if we engage with the protagonists, though surely a suffering child almost automatically is going to grab most of us by the throat, sinew, gut and heart, squeeze and not let go. I must admit from the very beginning I was short of breath, and saying ‘oh no, no, no’

However, there has to be some leaven to get the viewer through this and this Belgian film, directed by Felix van Groeningen, manages its leaven spectacularly, both in filmic, narrative terms and the excellence of the 3 leads.

Elise (Veerle Baetens) is a quirky young woman who owns a tattoo parlour. She meets Didier (Johan Heldenberg, who also co-wrote the script) a blue-grass musician in love with America and its country music. The wonderful, intricate music runs through the film, as the band achieves greater success and scenes take in concerts from little smoky dives to larger stadiums.

The structure of the film (and it works stunningly) is non-linear, as over 7 years of relationship cuts between different moments of past and present.
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Format: Blu-ray
Please Note some people consider this review to contain spoilers!

This is the official Belgian entry for the 2014 Oscars best foreign language film and after seeing it I can see why. We meet Didier and Elise they sort of fall for each other at first sight. He invites her to come see his band, who are a Bluegrass outfit and to say they are excellent is a massive understatement.

They move to his cowboy house and start a truly moving love affair which sees her getting pregnant and joining the band who sing American music like they were born to it. Then tragedy strikes and their daughter is diagnosed with cancer. The band have become part of the fabric of all three of the family's lives and as the pressure builds so everything they have in life and love gets called into question. The story is told in a non linear narrative in that it jumps around from time frame to time frame. Each time it does this a little more of the story is revealed - slowly building the full picture. The music is the glue that links the scenes as are the tattoos that Elise's gets done as a permanent reminder of her life and loves for all to see.

To cal this excellent is only half the story; apart from being moving, beautifully acted and filmed it also tells a story with a purpose that includes the lack of stem cell research and the hopelessness that is brought about by a parents worse fear. It unfolds in such a way that you would begrudge missing a single second. It is in Flemish and English with very good sub titles and is probably one of the most moving films I have seen this year - I can only absolutely recommend this wonderful film.
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Format: Amazon Video
The director takes a common story--two unconventional people fall in love, then are tested by tragedy--and rejuvenates it mostly by incorporating some of the best bluegrass music I've ever heard. And bluegrass is not even my favorite genre of music but in this film, it is truly divine. The first time I watched this film, I did so for the story. The second time, it was more because I wanted to hear the music again.

Apart from the music, the story works because of the two leads who are absolutely brilliant in their roles as Didier, a Belgian bluegrass musician in love with the idea of America, and Elise, a beautiful--and beautifully tattooed--tattoo artist and free spirit. They meet, fall in love, and Elise becomes the lead singer in Didier's bluegrass band. Once she's added to the band, they grow in popularity becoming quite successful. They have a child and then a tragedy begins to tear their lives apart.

What I appreciated about the film: 1. Unlike Hollywood, the actors look like real people, teeth and all. I enjoy watching a film where the people don't look manufactured to perfection, where they look authentic. 2. The simple story delivers an unexpected double whammy & reminds us that our lives can change completely in an instant through no fault of our own. 3. The music is indeed divine and organically handled.

In addition, I particularly enjoyed the tongue-lashing Didier unloads on George Bush. Some critics have panned that part of the film, observing that it detracts from the story. I think it pays off Didier's disillusionment in America, a place he starts off romanticizing about as a country of dreamers, then ends despising as cruel and barbaric. It reflects the reality he's forced to confront in his life at the end of the film.
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