Amazon Reviews of Dardennes Brothers’ Films

TwoDaysOneNightthumbOn the occasion of the release of the latest Dardenne Brothers’ film Two Days, One Night, and inspired by Chad Hartigan’s rightfully gushing essay on said film for The Talkhouse, I thought it might be interesting to peruse, collect, and present some of the best Amazon user comment reviews of motion pictures directed by those acclaimed Belgian brothers just to, you know, give a little more context and perhaps help you to better understand their cinematic worldview before throwing down your hard-earned money to watch this subtitled movie. (Distributed by Sundance Selects, Two Days, One Night opens theatrically on December 24, 2014. Visit the film’s official website to learn more.)

TheKidWithABikestilllargeThe Kid With A Bike

You’ll keep thinking that there is something about the movie that makes it worth watching. It’s a foreign film, which Amazon should have put in the title to prevent confusion. We rented it, and then discovered the subtitles. You can’t get a refund on video media once you start watching it. This helps prevent piracy and annoy the heck out of me. I recommend putting this film at the bottom of your movies to watch list.

Some enjoyable moments, but the movie as a whole was a flat bike path that wasn’t very interesting and didn’t go anywhere.

Did not realize this movie had subtitles. Wish that it was more predominantly displayed to warn folks. Started it for a few minutes then gave up on it.

I have several movies where reading the translation is necessary, but this is the only one that the need to read was a drag on the viewing.
I also thought that the violence scene was poorly directed.
I also thought the reward for the violence was unlike, as the gang teacher/boss would demand a greater cut.
I think it was generally a good story that is missing chucks of realism–but that may be because i found reading the conversation a drag

The plot looks not natural. No explanation where is the mother of the kid, why his father so callous.
Why did the woman break with her boyfriend for sake of the boy. Why is the bike in the center of the plot?
It’s obvious for me the movie was created by an amateur movie maker.

I though this movie was just so so. I though the script was lacking over all. Watched other movies where a 14 or younger boy was the main character in the film which were way better. In fact just watched Bring up Bobby was a lot better written film than this film.

LornasSilencstilllargeLorna’s Silence

Lorna’s Silence seemed to drag on and on and never gets anywhere. I regret purchasing this DVD. I love foreign films. I’ve watched several fantastic films made in Argentina and they are some of my favorites. The only reason I bought this film was because one of my favorite actors was in it, but was in very few scenes.

Nevertheless, the film is too slow. There was much intersections all the way along to explore and definitively were overlooked and dismissed. The dramatic tension is attenuated due precisely the slowness of the narrative pulse.

L'EnfantstilllargeL’Enfant

This movie is not a good movie. Besides it’s very very depressing. Also haven’t a good art. No good music. The plot is going from one side to another. The sum of the parts is equal to the whole thing: a boring, depresing and a mediocre acting movie.

I can’t think of one good reason to see this film. The characters are unformed, uninteresting and, if they had not been played by beautiful actors, probably highly unattractive. The problem is that it is artfully made, and yes, the actors are good looking, so one is seduced into thinking that this is something one should be paying attention to. If you met people like this in real life, your natural reaction would be disgust and to turn away. They probably don’t smell very well either.

I am a BIG fan of international films, everywhere from Cannes, to Bollywood. This film absolutely does not deserve any of the good publicity it recieved. I’ve had tooth extractions done that I would rather have been to rather than watch this again. It is slow, immature, and uncaring. The concept had so much potential, and this story could have been so much more. But something got lost in translation, that something is a good storyline.

While this movie has a number of things going for it — intelligent realism, excellent acting, and a unique, dramatic story — it has one irredeemable flaw: There is nothing at all likeable about its protagonist, Bruno. As a result, we do not sympathize with him or his predicament. Frankly, much of the time I felt nothing but disgust for him. If there had been something more sensitive, more likeable in Bruno, I think this movie would’ve carried more weight.

This film is an example of, “I don’t need to make a well-thought out movie; I’ll just roll the camera.”

This won the Palme D’Or? Absolutely ridiculous. I would call it a pretentious bore but there is nothing even artifically high-minded about the story so I would it an unpretentious bore. The main character is completely devoid of any trait that might compell us to root for, hate, empathise, admire, relate to or understand. Bruno (protaginist) is a bad boyfriend, horrific father, inept thief, bumbling con artist. Who cares what happens to him? The baby in the movie is a rubberlike being that never cries, poops, laughs. It’s absolutely annoying to watch the young couple interact with such a lifeless prop. The only saving grace is Deborah Francois, who puts in the ony believable performance in the movie.

L’enfant is a kind of attempt to make a naturalistic film.. say in the realm of Robert Bresson.. However, it does not come close to being one third as interesting as Bresson.. I can’t decide if it is because of the characters who I am completely unsympathetic to – or if it is as some other reviewers stated quite pretensious.. I don’t know if this film contains a deeper meaning that I am missing but I do know that I don’t feel to compelled to watch it again to find out.. It is somewhat interesting in its structure and the way it examines the characters inability to feel and love – but it lacks a certain needed ingredient that would make the audience at all interested.

Though the central conceit of the film: a man selling his son for money is extremely powerful and unusual, “L’enfant” fails to ignite in any kind of real and emotional way between us, the audience and the characters involved because the telling of this tale, instead of being personal and remarkable, is instead dull, off-putting, murky and diffuse.

TheSonstilllargeThe Son

I bought this on the strength of reviews I’d read, and added it to a film library for students to watch outside school hours. Not only did my family find it boring in previewing it, the students absolutely despised it. Despite high production values and good acting, there’s not much story, not much action….basically, not worth watching or buying.

Wow, this was soooo boring. Very misleading how the DVD case said “SUSPENSFUL!!” Where? I saw NO suspense! Again the acting? Why was the acting praised, anyone can walk around with the same blank look throughout a movie. I watched this movie waiting and waiting for something good to happen…then the credits rolled. WTF? I was hoping that this movie was like “Dancer in the Dark”, the shaky camera angles and the laboriously boring dialogue I hoped would then tranform into something even mildy entertaining. As was “Dancer in the Dark”. No such thing happen with this garbage. I recommend this to noone.

I think that the story in this movie is compelling, the ending is certainly not as inconsequential as some reviewers complained (actually, I found the conclusion touching and quite telling of what will pass between the two characters), but the movie is mostly very very dull. A missed opportunity.

I cannot believe I wasted an hour-and-half of my own boring life to watch someone else’s even more boring life on screen. It’s hard to imagine this film was included in Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival. I understand all the themes and emotional subtexts and mumbo-jumbo, but this movie is plain crap. Not just crap but plain and dull crap. There’s no background music and extremely minimal dialogue (and very uninteresting dialogue mind you). The plot is… well.. not much of one. Not to mention this film has one of the most inconclusive endings I have ever witnessed. This movie is supposedly driven by it’s characters, but I felt they were just completely ordinary characters for a completely ordinary movie. The only thing that came off as interesting was the way the film was shot. But even the shaky camera technique lost all its fun by the end. There was a lot of praise and favorable word of mouth surrounding this movie, but I wound up severely disappointed.

I love a good film and generally abhor effects flix that lack good writing, good dialogue and heart (like the Lord of the Rings series). Give me reality! But don’t give me a home movie passing itself off as art, as with The Son.
This movie was poorly shot and insufferably paced. When people sit, they sit and sit and sit and sit. When they drive, they drive and drive and drive and drive. When they look, they look and look and look and look. Have these film makers never heard of editing? We get the point! Forty minutes into this cinematic water torture, I was thanking Hitachi for the Fast Foreword button on my remote.
It’s no exaggeration to say that most of this film consists of the back of Gourmet’s head (he really needs to get that growth behind his right ear looked at) and other shots taken inches from the characters’ faces. The occasional long shot comes as blessed relief. It also seems the cameramen attended the Blair Witch school of cinematography (if it can be called that). The handheld videocam nonsense will have any person with an alimentary canal reaching for Dramamine or Ginger within minutes. It’s a wonder I can type, as I’m literally reeling from motion sickness.
Suffice it to say that The Son is a story that any film maker who knows how to frame a shot and edit could have told in 40 minutes. It also has one of the most inconsequential endings of all time. Indeed, I rewound just to make sure the DVD hadn’t skipped. Perhaps it really did skip–just as I should have skipped this pretentiously boring waste of time.

RosettastilllargeRosetta

I beg to disagree with the reviewer who wrote that ROSETTA deserved the Palme D’Or, instead of ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER. All About My Mother–thin? Rather, I would call this film “thin.”
All About My Mother is an excellent film. Maybe the fact that it is Spanish had something to do with its not receiving the Palme, it’s Cannes. You know?
If most people agree that this shouldn’t have been awarded the Palme, let me add another person to that group. Not even Dogma 95 movies will make you this dizzy.

I don’t like cliché movie, I like simple real people on movie but with a story but this one don’t have a story! It could had been a good movie if they would have a story with it more interesting and if the girl will be less cold. The ending is very weird, we saw her crying (now she show some emotion!) and that’s the end! What IS the meaning of this movie?!

according to some reviewers the main quality of this movie is the minimalist approach. This movie is shot as a documentary and the directors do not make the slightest attempt to improve it.
It is raw life indeed but almost anyone can make a movie of this type – the most difficult part being to wake up in the morning and find the location.

I chose to see this film because it is in the list of Cannes winners. While most of the movies on that list are really great, “Rosetta” was a big disappointment for me. I consider myself sophisticated enough to enjoy not just the pure entertainment-like moies, but the art movies as well, but “Rosetta” is neither of those, in my opinion. I could guess what artistic message is sent to the audience with the use of the shaky camera (maybe the director didn’t have enough money to pay for a professional cameraman?), but whatever it is, watching “Rosetta” is a very unpleasant experience. The absense of any plot, and the annoingly repetitive scenes make it even worse. I think “Rosetta” is one of these movies that pretend to have some artistic quality where there is none. “Rosetta” is certainly not one of the mainstream movies, but this fact alone doesn’t make it a good movie.

LaPromessestilllargeLa Promesse

I was loving this movie until about halfway through, when Assita told Igor that the sheep she’d bought wasn’t to provide milk for her baby but for “the Festival of Sacrifice”. That’s when I hit STOP and ditched the DVD.
I’m supposed to sympathize with this “young widow” (as the synopsis describes her), when she bought a sweet, gentle creature just so she can kill it to satisfy some demonic bloodthirsty “god”, or whatever? I assume that’s what the chicken is for, too. Why did those people even bother sneaking into Belgium if they intended to bring their barbaric customs with them? Why didn’t they just stay in Africa?
Since the movie hinges on Igor’s sympathy for her, there’s no point in my waiting around to see if they actually show the slaughter, because I already couldn’t care less what happens to that woman. I liked some of the Dardennes’ later movies a lot, but if I’d seen this one first I never would have bothered with the others.
I know every single person who reads this review will mark it “Not helpful”, with a warm surge of righteous artistic indignation as they click the No button. Good for you. You’re a great champion of free artistic expression and the rights of the world’s downtrodden masses – as long as the views being expressed agree with yours and the downtrodden masses are human beings and not innocent defenseless animals. Your world loves you, but I don’t have to.

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