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Criterion Collection: Rosetta [Blu-ray] [1999] [US Import]


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Product details

  • Format: Colour, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Aug 2012
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083V2VXC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,492 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Belgian miserabilism might sound like an instant turn-off but Rosetta, the winner of the 1999 Palme d'or at Cannes, is gripping right from the start. Made by brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, former documentary-makers, the film tracks a young woman who lives with her alcoholic mother in a caravan park on the outskirts of Liége as she desperately tries to get a job. It literally follows her story: the Dardennes use a handheld camera that hugs Rosetta's shoulder, plunging us into her dead-end world and making us share her urgent need for "a real job and a normal life".

In the title role, first-time actress Emilie Dequenne gives an astounding performance. With her square, sullen face, stumpy walk and outbursts of indignant violence, she radiates fury and grim determination. Whether bullying her wretched mother or betraying the only person who ever showed her kindness so that she can grab his job, she's never for a moment ingratiating, and the Dardennes avoid all special pleading: we're told nothing of how Rosetta got where she is, or why. Yet she holds our sympathy despite everything, and the ending, when for the first time the glimmer of a gentler emotion lightens her features, brings more sense of real uplift than any dozen mainstream feel-good films. --Philip Kemp

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John P. Webber on 27 Oct 2005
Format: DVD
My first reaction at the end of this film was that I'd seen something remarkable, and several years later, after some reflection, I still think so.
The story line is very basic; Rosetta, a girl in her late teens, lives with her alcoholic mother in a permanent caravan park outside a largish industrial Belgian town. As her mother is incapable for most of the time, it has fallen on Rosetta to provide for the two of them as best as she can. Rosetta refuses to sink into the same mire as her mother who is still flirting with prostitution as a means of survival, and desperately wants to find a 'normal' job, however mundane, to furnish an existence that most people take for granted. The film centres on Rosetta's brushes with employment and her fury at various bosses who sack her when they find out her background and the domestic scenes with her mother whom she variously cares for, hates and literally picks up from the floor. The only hope is a local young man who develops some sort of feelings for her, though even this is compromised when she betrays him to steal his job.
The directors have used various methods to depict this. There is the strong flavour of independent cinema and repetition techniques - it is a mighty long way from Hollywood; some scenes are reminiscent of French 'relationship' movies like Betty Blue; others recall traditions of British realism; and then there is the hand held camera.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 July 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I agree completely with the two reviews I read, by Philip Kemp and John Webber. I think the greatest achievement of the directors, Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardene, is to estblish a subjective point of view, of Rosetta's, and never let go of it from beginning to end. The hand-held camera adds to the frenzied pace of this movie, which works despite the monotony. Part of the reason is Emilie Dequenne's amazing performance. She lives not in quiet, but in furious desperation. The idea is to subject this character to every kind of indignity and setback--to lead her to temptation, but to have her resist and remain steadfast. The movie takes no shortcuts; no sex, no rapes, no violence (expected and received in American movies like Boys Don't Cry). All these perils (easy to put in a contemporary movie) are avoided, and yet the sense of Rosetta's desperation and determination hit the viewer smack in the face. An amazing feat of control by the directors and actors. No sentimental tricks here, but a very real emotion--exilaration at Rosetta's only smile at the end.
santasc@fdn.com
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. L. C. Rothery on 12 July 2009
Format: DVD
Another fantastic film from the Dardenne brothers, the winner of the Palme D'Or in 1999. I wouldn't put it in the same category as L'Enfant or Les Silence De Lorna but all the same, a great film. No one does realism quite like the Dardennes in European cinema. At first the film is quite slow but the plot pulls its self together eventually and it shows a fantastic, fulfilling piece of cinema. It felt so realt that at times it was like I was watching a documentary. Another key aspect for me was the absence of any type of soundtrack and although this only served to highlight the reality it still could have maybe done with some music to enhance the emotions a bit more. I think Rosetta's plight is one in which we can identify with but as a viewer I initially felt empathy with Rosetta but I lost this sense of empathy due to the decisions she made. For me, this reduction in empathy made it a great piece of work as it tended to avoid cliche and a usual plot you get in so many films. Fantastic, a very good 65%.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 July 2000
Format: VHS Tape
As I'm writing this before the release of the video, you'll guess that I saw it at the cinema. I went because I knew it had received the Palme D'Or at Cannes, but had no other information on the film at all, so I didn't really know what to expect. My reaction at the end of the film was that I'd seen something remarkable, and 9 months or so later, after some reflection, I still think so. The story line is very basic; Rosetta, a girl in her late teens, lives with her alcoholic mother in a permanent caravan park outside a largish industrial Belgian town. As her mother is incapable for most of the time, it has fallen on Rosetta to provide for the two of them as best as she can. Rosetta refuses to sink into the same mire as her mother who is still flirting with prostitution as a means of survival, and desperately wants to find a 'normal' job, however mundane, to furnish an existence that most people take for granted. The film centres on Rosetta's brushes with employment and her fury at various bosses who sack her when they find out her background and the domestic scenes with her mother whom she variously cares for, hates and literally picks up from the floor. The only hope is a local young man who develops some sort of feelings for her, though even this is compromised when she betrays him to steal his job. The directors have used various methods to depict this. There is the strong flavour of independent cinema and repetition techniques - it is a mighty long way from Hollywood; some scenes are reminiscent of French 'relationship' movies like Betty Blue; others recall traditions of British realism; and then there is the hand held camera.Read more ›
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