Lorna’s Silence (Le silence de Lorna) (2008)

JEAN-PIERRE DARDENNE, LUC DARDENNE

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB///, 2008, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Screenplay by , Cinematography by Produced by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, .   Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by Cannes Film Festival 2008Toronto International Film Festival 2008.

Lorna is an Albanian woman living in Belgium who is working towards her full citizenship, married to a junkie () with whom she was set up by a friend, a relationship that will allow her to stay in the country. She has agreed to enter another arranged marriage with a powerful Russian mobster once she has obtained a divorce from her current husband, but it soon becomes clear to her that things aren’t going as she originally planned: a divorce will take too long and draw too much suspicion, and she suspects that her contacts are going to kill Renier to get him out of the way faster. She’s disgusted by her false husband and has little patience for him, feeling herself unable to spare thoughts for anyone other than her own tired, stressed-out self, but the thought of him being murdered for others’ convenience sparks an emotion within her, and soon she is trying to play a very dangerous game in order to help everyone come out alive. The Dardennes once again put a world of concern into a very small story about one person’s daily struggle, creating tension from the constant process of watching a character’s actions without stopping to contemplate their inner thoughts and, in doing so, making the physical activity into the story’s psychology in a surprisingly effective way. There’s a point at which the plot veers off into daring territory, taking an arthouse version of a thriller and whittling it down to a pure arthouse movie (complete with an open, ominous ending), but the excellence of the acting and the confidence of the direction keep this from being a frustrating result.

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