Belgium Film

GRAVE (2017)


A film  Julia Ducournau

Cast: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Naït Oufella 

English title: Raw

In Justine’s family everyone is veterinarian and vegetarian. At 16, she is a gifted teenager about to join the vet school where her older sister is also a student. But, barely settled, the hazing begins for the first years. Justine is forced to eat raw meat. This is the first time in her life. The consequences are not long in coming. Justine discovers her true nature. And by true nature I will not be dating this woman not even her sister See the end of the film.


Ok the name grave is the name of the vet school in Belgium it also mean serious but they translate by raw. Ok this  French  / Belgium film is awesome someone has written a totally great script here by the name of well the director herself Julia Ducournau. It is a crazy film with demented atmosphere ,a disconcerting architecture, in its deliquescent decor, an oppressive psychology, in its febrile approach of the youth … Julia Ducournau dissects the passage to the adulthood, with the frustration that goes with it with a mutation in an environment where perception and madness are going to collide with each other into a chilling atmosphere. Authentic mix of cinematography genres, and some underground  classic cinema here. The ritual goes like this you will see people dancing half-naked, consuming a large amount of alcohol and drugs, blood flying all over to welcome the newbies also you will have the usual suspect the nurse who is not concern about the newbies skin rash, and the teacher who tell them especially the smart one that he does not like the smart one to finish with a macabre orgies of some what half awake zombie, and a perfect ending. You will get out of the theatre loving it like the critics that say it is the best horror film of the year or you are going to hate it there is no in between. Cheers!


NOCES (2017)


A film by Stephan Streker

Cast: Lina El Arabi, Sébastien Houbani, Babak Karimi

English title: A Wedding 

Zahira, 18, is close to her family until her parents ask her to follow Pakistani tradition to choose a husband out of the three pictures that are presented to her. Torn between family customs and her western lifestyle, the young woman try to persuade her brother that she does not want this.

Ye tradition is that what this young woman is faced in today world. Thank about it you are a young woman 18 years of age you want to experiment at love, sex, and life travel the world get a job, go to a University etc… Not choosing a husband at 18 years old. Well if you are Pakistanis it is the tradition it is the culture. If she resist or does not do it the friends that her father has in Pakistan will cast him out of the village. But Zahira wants to live her western life style after all she is in Belgium and it is not the tradition in Belgium it is a democratic country where woman has rights to marry who ever she pleases. So Zahira turn to her brother for guidance and understanding. He however wants her to go through with it in order to make her parents happy. At the opening of the film we learn that Zahira is pregnant of the boy that she is in love with. For her it is horrible to have an abortion. Plus the boy is not a Pakistani. Will she submit to her parents wishes and will she have the abortion ?


Lina El Arabi who plays Zahira has done well here for her first time acting her emotion was flowing though her veins at time as cold as ice. She shakes down the house hold because she is pregnant. That is the first wave the second wave she is resisting of marrying one of the chosen one for her. The director takes particular care to respect the point of view of each of the characters, in order to arouse empathy and above all to allow the audience  freedom to base their own opinion. If he avoids any judgment, he does not forget to denounce all the horror of this deprivation of freedom  reserved for the female members of a family whose main concern although there  are unjust rules  to maintain  the safeguard of appearances. Plus pay attention of the dialogue here and one element that is going to put in front of the audience you will be able to guess the ending as I did. I saw to many film in my days. A must see.




A film by Marc Fitoussi

Cast: Jeanne Jestin, Émilie Dequenne, Nelly Antignac

English: Mom is wrong 

Do we really know their parents? Anouk, 14, suddenly discovers another side of her mother, thanks to the unavoidable third observation course that she performs in the insurance company where she works. A week of immersion in the adult world of the company, with its little arrangements and great cowardice, which soon seals her young destiny. Between a day into initiation, assuming responsibilities like an adult is a form of saying goodbye to her childhood.


For it is rather a crazy and cruel world described by Marc Fitoussi,  of the laborious middle class, symbolized by Cyrielle. Just  graduate out of high school mom at barely 20 years, gets little joy on her life raising a kid and doing what every Parisienne does Metro / boulot /  dodo/. Emilie Dequenne is remarkable incarnating the mother who is melancholic and at times joyful. As for Jeanne Jestin who plays her daughter steals the show here. Plus the impossible boss who is a pain in everyone ass, to top it all off The daughter meets the tragic / comic duo of  Mathilde and Bénédicte (Camille Chamoux and Nelly Antignac), sorts of Javotte and Anastasia of modern times, who harass their cordial Cinderella / Anouk with their insufficiency and their bad faith. Anouk quickly figures out that growing up is not what it is cracked up to be. She is here an observer who absorb the adult world.

Between violence and freshness, Maman a tort  is a bittersweet social chronicle which should please the biggest acerbic and substantiated criticism of the world of work and to the young ones for the communicative enthusiasm of its young heroine.



the red turtle

A film by Michael Dudok de Wit

The red turtle has caught the eye of the film festival of Cannes. The dialogue less animation is powered by classical music. Michael Dudok de Wit went to France at Angoulême ti make this animation. There was a lot of buzz about that one so I decided to go see it and was not disappointed. What is the most unbelievable is how simple every aspect of the film is. It is like a story book.

The story unfold You follow a man who is caught in a bad storm is in the ocean and manages to stay alive until he washed away on this island. It is like a Robinson Crusoe story here and you will see how he is trying to survive off the island. Michael Dudok de Wit who wrote the story here has use his imagination big time and made it into a little fantasy animation that works well here. You will spent one hour and twenty minutes of wonderful time with you kids. It is as well as for adult here too. The absence of dialogue here lets the audience absorb the beautiful imagery. Here you have a beautiful and lyrical journey through life – without even saying a word.


the red turtle -3



A film by Robin  Pront 

Cast: Veerle Baetens, Jan Bijvoet, Eric Godon

This feature directorial debut by Belgian Robin Pront starts off with a crime scene. Dave (Jeroen Perceval) leaves his brother Kenny (Kevin Janssens) at the scene and drives off with Sylvie (Veerle Baetens), Kenny’s girlfriend. Four years later Kenny gets out of prison. Dave promise  to his mother (Viviane de Muynck) that he will keep his brother out of trouble.

To all fans of film Neo-Noir put this one on your list, do not miss it, seriously.  Having said that our premier week in France is  Wednesday so I rush this morning to the movie theater to see this film. It was in the morning there was only me and an other guy there. When the film was over we look at each other and said almost at the same time “dam! that was so good”. And yes it is , but I can not reveal nothing about it and that is going to be a tough one. Here it is first I can say that the film focuses on Kenny adjustment to the every day life trying to go straight and his bother to help him out. Soon tension will start to rise in this grippy Belgium film. It’s an unexpectedly exhilarating climax that will grab you by the balls and hit you in the gut. Pront film it as dark as it can go with the weather on his side rainy, cold, as grey as it can get.The film’s retro synth soundtrack adds to the nostalgia of times gone by for the story and tension meter will raise then and come down to its conclusion. The Ardennes is a forest in Belgium as far as the eye can see just in case you are wondering. The actors delivers their roles beautifully well here. You see Korean cinema has reinvented themselves with  creative story telling and great if no outstanding stunts but now Belgium, it looks like are doing the same thing they are going to be the one to watch.


les ardennes




A film by Antoine Cuypers

Cast: Ariane Labed, Nathalie Baye, Julien Baumgartner

A beautiful summer evening is going to start. The father is preparing the BBQ, the son in-laws brought a case a wine (I love this guy already trust me they are going to need it), the mother is busy in the kitchen helping her is her daughter and daughter in law while her grand son is helping with the fire wood and someone has a good news to announce .  Everyone seems delighted to find each other when, on the terrace, Cedric appears, certainly the adult son but who still lives at home. Instantly the uneasiness  settles, everyone welcomes him with annoyance and suspicion by trying to be natural. But the young man seems shy and introverted seems  in a state of panic when he sees his sister.


The tension and the uneasiness start to increase as the camera focuses on the faces gradually reveals the anguish that is taking place between the son his family.Tension mounts, punctuated by music like someone is trying to play cello nervously and the string are getting to break. It is like there is a crime and you don’t even know who are the guilty party of the guilty one. It is like a whodunit around at the diner table. Between false leads and uncomfortable scenes, the director maintains discomfort like a master with elegance. The character cedric is going to expose at any minute he is like a time bomb that is going to explode. Thomas Blanchard who plays cedric has done an outstanding job here. Nathalie Baye is outdone herself here smart move from the director who hired a hell of the cast here where their performances shine. And yes they was wine drinking in this film because like I said those character are going to need it. I am going to hit the bolt myself after this review. Au revoir.




A film by Alice Winocour

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger, Paul Hamy

Back from combat, Vincent, a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, is responsible for ensuring the safety of Jessie, the wife of a wealthy Lebanese businessman in his “Maryland” property. While he feels a strange fascination for the woman he must protect, Vincent is prone to anxiety and hallucinations. Despite the apparent tranquility of “Maryland,” Vincent receives an external threat ..


Here is a home evasion done differently. An ex-soldier with who comes back from  the war and has PTSP, he can’t get back to Afghanistan until he is better so he takes on a security job of a wealthy Lebanese business man at his estate named Maryland. Despite a certain calmness an external treat hits full force. This thriller start introducing the characters and build the tension. Yes there is paranoia from Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts) who plays this soldier who comes back from the war and doe not seems to fit into society, he is trying to find his place. His sickness kicks in from time to time. He develops a fascination for the wife of his boss. Suddenly her husband take a business trip so Vincent is asked to stay behind and protect the wife and kid. It is a film Neo Noir / thriller with a tension build up with such intensity from the actor like Schoenaerts who here carries the picture. Diane Kruger who in real life in German speaks very well French here with no accent, she was discovered by Luc Besson who told her to move to Paris. She is also fluent in English obliviously has thrown a splendid performance here. And it is a Belgium film here so when the story runs you do not know what the husband does for a living although Vincent has a pretty good idea but the director does not confirm it  in the story here. Of course the ending is not a hollywood ending Thank god for that.