Film review: The Broken Circle Breakdown (15)

Felix van Groeningen, 111mins. Starring: Veerle Baetans, Johan Heldenbergh

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The Independent Culture

Felix van Groeningen is one of the most talented in the new wave of Flemish directors who've been winning multiple awards on the festival circuit.

This, though, is a weak and manipulative film which simply never rings true. Elise (the impressive and impressively tattooed Baetans) is the lead singer in a Belgian bluegrass band founded by her partner Didier (Johan Heldenbergh, wearing a beard that makes him look uncannily like British mountaineer Chris Bonington).

They're happy and in love... or, at least, would be if their daughter hadn't contracted cancer.

As the couple's relationship disintegrates, the film flits back and forth in time and tries forlornly to capture the deep-seated emotions contained in the songs the band performs.