Rewatch. Masters of pace, complicity, moral dilemma. One of their bleakest expressions of the dehumanising qualities of modern society. I think of their films as defined, purposeful for how info is parsed, which can ignore how thorny the details they elide can be (and this has some big ones). The hand holding the water bowl and when Lorna chases after the bike are moments that moved me a lot.
This film is hardly expanding the Dardenne's usual themes and low key filmmaking, but features some great performances from Dobroshi, as a determined woman increasingly weighted by her conscience, and Renier, her junkie fake husband, a man clinging on to the nearest supportive person. In an opportunistic world that treats them as means to financial ends, these characters have constructed a sad, personal morality.
Comme sa petite soeur anglaise Angie d' "It's a free world" qui elle aussi avait tenté de sur(vivre) et d'accéder à ses rêves de réussite sociale, évinçant tout questionnement moral gênant, Lorna incarne, avec force et malaise, une nouvelle internationale de la misère, non plus matérielle, mais éthique qui ne rechigne pas à exploiter bien plus démunis dans une triomphante logique amorale et barbare.www.cinefiches.com
Arta Dobroshi's beautiful performance is the fulcrum that the Dardennes' occasionally flawed drama really does need. A couple of doubtful relationship twists are the film's main problem but outside of that, this is an impressively human take on addiction and marriages of convenience.
An unpleasant group of unlikable individuals, criminals, in fact, slowly accomplish ethically questionable and downright immoral acts for dubious purposes. The supposed realism to me feels flat and unrehearsed - a lot like the silent and simple characters of old action computer games. This is an inconsequential story about uninspiring people and the haphazard and bland camera doesn't help.
Transition to the mainstream? In fact this is another dry, rough, hard film by the Dardennes, where there is never a glimpse of sunrise. A punch of realism about the EU, a tough commentary about the morality of individuals, and questionably, a lyrical finale that the authors use to avoid giving to the movie the necessarily dramatic conclusion. Worth watching, far from a masterpiece.
Although you can read this as an accomplished psychological thriller, the completely convincing realism and the perfectly judged performances really take it beyond the obvious conventions of genre. The Dardenne brothers seem able to find some redemption in even the bleakest and most desolate areas of experience. This film is not only typical of their work in that respect but also perhaps their finest to date.
Another powerful human drama from the Dardennes. It's physical, compelling, and, for the most part, feels truthful. I wasn't as convinced with the character arc as I have been with their other films...there was something a little expositional and obvious about Lorna muttering the subtext throughout the last scenes. But the film is powerful overall...great characters moving in an intriguing world.
Its not my favorite by them but I really don't know why this is considered a lesser Dardenne bros film. I found it to be just incredible. Riveting, beautiful performances, and incredibly sad and dark. Perhaps not their most strictly realistic plot but I was so taken with the style and characters I could care less. Combine that with the usual great Dardenne visuals and you got yourself one intense movie experience.
A questionable plot and a baffling decision to leave a key narrative scene out of the film means despite the good intentions and the interesting moral themes at stake here, it’s an increasingly convoluted story that left me longing for the simplistic beauty of their excellent The Son.