Nadine tells of a woman’s desire, bordering on dementia, for bearing a child.
She is an interior designer, who, in the midst of the furrow she ploughs through myriad lovers, has a change of heart. She finds her objectives mindless and soulless, and decides that she can reach fruition as a person only by becoming a mother. In the course of a dental treatment, she begins to vibe sexually with her dentist Daniel (Fedja Van Huet) and obsesses about a child by him. No technique succeeds, not even artificial insemination by his sperm. (Ironically, Nadine has earlier had an abortion after a one-night fling with a rock singer.) In the meantime, Daniel has a parallel relationship with a bar dancer, makes her pregnant, and subsequently marries her.
Nadine of course is devastated. She retreats into herself and her work, until one day she is greeted by Daniel in a supermarket. He has his eight-month old baby Sam with him. In an unpremeditated act, she kidnaps Sam. The major portion of the film is devoted to her flight southwards from Holland through Europe to Portugal, where she finds two friends, undergoes a catharsis, and to her return journey home, to leave Sam to be reunited with his parents, and herself enriched by the relationship of love she has succeeded in building with Sam.
Nadine is noteworthy for the technique employed by Erik De Bruyn of employing three of Holland’s most striking actresses to play the single character of Nadine, through its different phases, as inorganic, discrete segments. What is most riveting about Monic Hendrickx, Sanneke Bos and Halina Reijn is their strong, unconventional (in the case of Monic Hendrickx, almost masculine) physiognomies. They are stunningly watchable, and Sanneke Bos is especially beautiful and vulnerable and troubled.
This is a conventional part-drama, part road movie, told most unconventionally.