Elise is a practical, religious lady. Didier is a bearded romantic who believes that religion is ridiculous. She works in a tattoo parlour; he doesn’t like body art. And yet they fall together in a way that feels inevitable; they meet, get along immediately and enter a whirlwind romance that soon sees them living together and spending all their time with one another. Didier introduces Elise to bluegrass music, and she discovers the wonders of Belgian country bands, joining Didier’s own group as a lead singer.
Fast forward a few years, and they have a young daughter, Maybelle. But things are not going smoothly; their child is diagnosed with cancer and the two of them are catapulted into a world of hospital videos, chemotherapy and fear. Will their relationship be strong enough to withstand their daughter’s illness? Will the differences in their spiritual beliefs drive a wedge between them?
A beautifully acted movie with an excellent soundtrack, The Broken Circle Breakdown tugs at the heartstrings and brings up questions of life and death, love and loss. Its only downfall is perhaps how much it jumps around; past, present and future are intertwined and it often takes a couple of minutes to work out whether you’re watching the same timeframe as the previous scene. The music lifts the film beyond what might otherwise be a fairly average, if touching, drama. The haunting tones of Belgian bluegrass provide the perfect accompaniment to the events that are taking place; in some ways it is almost more musical than movie.
Out to own on DVD from the 25th of November, The Broken Circle Breakdown is not to be missed if you like good music or touching family dramas.