Elise (Veerle Baetens) and Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) strike up a passionate and intense relationship; it’s love at first sight. They become even closer through their bluegrass band, and then unexpectedly experience the joy of parenthood with the arrival of Maybelle. A complete circle of happiness for this unconventional couple. But sadness and sorrow ensue and take their toll; Didier and Elise begin to respond in different ways. Can love conquer fate?
Such is the plot of Belgian romantic drama The Broken Circle Breakdown, and while it may sound a bit sappy on paper, it's actually attracted some rave reviews. The London Film Review assured us that "You'll be hard pushed to find another film as raw, emotionally challenging and genuinely moving all year," while Sound on Sight called it "an unexpectedly beautiful musical parable about the contradictions of the universe."
What has really attracted praise is the film's superb bluegrass soundtrack, which has become the top-selling soundtrack of all time in its home country of Belgium, an energetic collection of classic bluegrass songs as performed by The Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band, a touring band that formed out of the film’s production. The soundtrack was crafted by the film’s composer Björn Eriksson, who took existing bluegrass songs and created new arrangements while also writing new songs for the film. Lead actors Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh perform their own songs and are part of the off-screen Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band, whose European tour is sold out through 2014. The full band also includes Eriksson, Nils De Caster (violin, mandolin, vocals), Karl Eriksson (banjo, vocals), Thomas De Smet (bass) and Bert Van Bortel (guitar, madolin, vocals).
The Broken Circle Breakdown will be released on UK DVD on 25th November 2013 by Studiocanal at the RRP of £19.99.
The only listed extra is the theatrical trailer. Which will be a bit like this...