Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Broken Circle Breakdown

A Belgian couple (Johan Heldenberg and Veerle Baetens) who share an affinity for bluegrass music fall in love at first sight and take their act on the road before they are confronted with several unexpected tragedies. Felix can Groeningen's Broken Circle Breakdown, which was adapted from a play by Mieke Dobbels and star Heldenberg and also an Academy Award nominee this year for Best Foreign Film, tries to mask an overly simple storyline with an unnecessary flashback structure and an unflinching look at its painful subject matter, an approach which occasionally leads itself to almost shameless depths. Lively musical scenes which feature renditions of American country standards in addition to some handsome pastoral photography help but can't save a film that also features inconsistent acting and a screenplay that for some inexplicable reason wants to throw in outdated political barbs at George W. Bush.