What to Watch Tonight: “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

A well-rounded portrait of love

the broken circle breakdown!

First things first. Hit play on the sound track below.

Sounds like a catchy earworm worthy of Llewyn Davis, huh? Well, it is bluegrass. But the tonsils might surprise you.

They belong to Flemish musicians Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens. And “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” is the religious hymn that kicks off The Broken Circle Breakdown, now streaming.

Heldenbergh and Baetens play Didier and Elise. He is a banjo-strumming atheist; she, a religious tattoo shop owner. A shared passion for music, life, and each other eclipses their opposing beliefs. It’s only when cancer consumes their daughter that the conflict threatens their once-unbreakable circle.

the broken circle breakdown!

It’s heavy stuff. Like the blow Blue Valentine delivers and the gaping emptiness left by Rabbit Hole. Even more, it reminds us of a French film we’re pretty sure you haven’t seen (but most definitely should): Declaration of War.

The film’s actually based on a popular stage play co-written by the lead actor. And even though the adaptation didn’t see the same box-office success (tiny indies usually don’t), it has the attention of the Academy: It’s nominated for Best Foreign Film.

Will it win? Who knows? But one thing’s certain: We can’t get it out of our head.

The Broken Circle Breakdown is available on demand or at itunes.com. To download the sound track, go to itunes.com. For more entertainment, meet the guys behind Interiors.

Photos: Courtesy of Tribeca Film