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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heart-touching, 4 Nov. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Pauline And Paulette [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Pauline is somewhere in her 60's, but she has the mental age of a small child. she lives a happy if simple life with her sister Martha in a small belgian town, taking care of the flowers and doing small errands. When Martha suddendly dies, the two remaining sisters are confronted with the dilemma of how to care for Pauline. For Pauline herself, there are no doubts: she will fulfill her dream of living with her adored sister Paulette and help her in her wonderfully pink lingerie shop. But Paulette has other ideas....
This movie is as much about handicap and its consequences as it is about loneliness and independence. In the end we feel sorrier for Paulette and her empty, self-centered life than for Pauline, who has been shielded from the cruelty of the world by her disability.
The performances are phenomenal and this movie is sure to touch you in ways you don't expect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem from Belgium: perfectly charming, disarmingly moving film, 9 Sept. 2007
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Pauline And Paulette [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Debrauwer takes this simple story about a simple person and tells it - simply. Pauline & Paulette" is life story that focuses on the simple-minded title character as she lives her life, day by day, under the protective watch of Martha. When her sister passes away, Pauline only sees it as "Martha went away in a big car." Concepts of life, death and survival are far beyond the understanding of the little retarded woman. Paulette adamantly rejects the idea that she becomes her sister's primary care person and soon foists Pauline on Cecile. Because of Cecile's partner Albert's vehemence over the intrusion in his life, Pauline soon takes matters into her own hands and, surprisingly, makes the journey back to Paulette by taxi. Her resourcefulness is ignored and Paulette makes plans to institutionalize her sister. In the end, though, blood is thicker than water and things settle down and wrap up on a positive note.
This is not "Rain Main" or "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and the film foregoes the typical tensions that Hollywood gives when dealing with retardation - the poor sot getting lost or losing some precious item and having a major breakdown over the event. Debrauwer, from his script (with Jaak Boon), doesn't contrive any such problems, simply showing Pauline's family coping with her care and well being. Dora van der Groen is quite remarkable as the simple-minded woman, matched equally by Ann Petersen as Paulette. She and the rest of the cast comes across as real people with their own agendas that do not include Pauline. Its success lies in its sense of balance. It is able to carefully navigate between real emotion and cheap sentimentality. It had funny moments, and also true-to-life moments. It wasn't earth shattering, but it was very touching. All in all, this is a gem from Belgium: perfectly charming, disarmingly moving film
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two sisters and family commitments, 9 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Pauline And Paulette [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Belgium (YES!) does have a film industry and this is one of the little gems that have come from it. In Flemish with subtitles with a small smattering in French. "Pauline and Paulette" is charming, sad at times, and funny. The settings especially in Paulette's shop are visually stunning.
Dora van der Groen (also briefly in ANTONIA's LINE) plays a woman in her 60's whose mental age is about a tenth of that and is shunted from sister to sister as her siblings argue who is to take care of her after another sister she was living with dies. Pauline seems not to understand the concept of death - just remarking that her 'sister has gone away in a car' as she happily does her repetitive daily chore of watering the roses in the garden. Her lonely sister Paulette lives for her lingerie shop and her amateur operatic life, but hankers after retirement to a place at the beach. With Pauline in tow she makes it but it's to a sterile highrise on the windy shores of the Belgian coastline - will both of them be able to settle?
Van der Groen's performance is so effective it's difficult to believe she isn't similarly challenged but her simple ways are infinitely touching and brings the viewer a thought-provoking vision of the world through Pauline's eyes.
A real tribute to the European Film industry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 6 Oct. 2009
By 
F. Anderson (Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pauline And Paulette [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This is little gem of a movie, bought because I like Flemish humour, and this didn't disappoint. Beautiful script, brilliant acting, funny, sad, poingnant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but I'm biased, 30 Mar. 2014
By 
A. M. Fifield "titanne" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pauline And Paulette [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Being a Flemish Belgian, I would be biased. The film is Flemish with undertitles. But having lived in the UK for over for over 35 years and know the quality of programmes and films on British TV, I feel this DVD is definitely worth a watch. The acting is great, the story is great. It's a beautiful story about two sisters who don't see eye to eye but rely on each other...
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Pauline And Paulette [DVD] [2002]
Pauline And Paulette [DVD] [2002] by Lieven Debrauwer (DVD - 2002)
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