My rating: 10
IMDB rating: 7.8
I still remember the first time that I read about this movie… I was searching for a Belgium movie to do my thesis on and was watching a few trailers; while scanning IMDB’s list of the best Belgium movies when I stumbled upon this… well, diamond! I watched the trailer and fell so in love with this movie that I immediately chose it for my thesis without seeing it once, and I’ve never looked back!
I think the reason that I love this film so much is the way that it is so brilliantly thought out. The disruptiveness of the telling of the story clearly emphasises not only the ‘broken circle’ theme, but also a type of stream of consciousness- just like someone is telling the story, remembering this here and that there.
The music is, of course, another very prominent theme. From Country in my genes to The boy who wouldn’t hoe corn forms part of the narrative as an aid to the telling of the story, rather than merely a soundtrack. In one of the final scenes Elise and Didier sings a very haunting duet of If I needed you, and from there it is clear that the characters as well as the story use music to fill gaps left by them.
The fact that Didier is so obsessed with the USA, as well as his love for Bluegrass music, can certainly point to a kind of Americanisation that the world is undergoing. But, to me, it has more to do with the American Dream. A dream where you can achieve anything, be anyone and where one can always dream.
Because of this believe in the ‘dreamy’, Didier is described as a romantic atheist. In contrast, Elise is describe as a religious realist. This brings us to one of the most important themes in the whole movie and that is the theme of grief.
People grieve in different manners, because of their difference in opinions regarding religious matters, Elise and Didier, grieve in different manners. While Elise needs to believe that Maybelle is watching over them, Didier can only accept her death by shifting the blame to something like modern medicine or religion. This difference in their grieving-styles places more and more pressure on their relationship, until they need to take it out on each other, to shift the blame to each other.
There is several more themes that one can comment on with this film, like Elise’s tattoos, but be sure that I will still be watching this film nearly ten times before the year is done.
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