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Rosetta/La Promesse [DVD] [2000]

4.0 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jérémie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Assita Ouedraogo, Émilie Dequenne, Fabrizio Rongione
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
  • Writers: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
  • Producers: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Arlette Zylberberg, Claude Waringo, Hassen Daldoul
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French, Romanian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 17 April 2001
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B5XH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,196 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Double bill from directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. In 'Rosetta' (1999), the teenage title character (Emilie Dequenne) struggles to look after herself and her alcoholic mother on a caravan site in present-day Belgium. When she is made redundant, Rosetta befriends waffle salesman Riquet (Fabrizio Rongione) and manages to find another job, but this does not last long, and she eventually finds herself considering suicide as a means of escape. In 'La Promesse' (1996) fifteen-year-old Igor (Jérémie Rénier) helps his father Roger (Olivier Gourmet) employ illegal immigrants to work on building sites. Then, when one of the workers is seriously injured after a fall from some scaffolding, Igor promises to look after the man's wife (Assita Ouedraogo) and child, an encounter which gradually alerts him to the gulf between his own values and those of the workers.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The two films of “Rosetta” and “La Promesse” being in this DVD package together could be quite deliberate. “Rosetta” was the next feature film that the Dardenne brother’s directed after “La Promesse”, and that alone could be enough reason for the two films to be presented in this DVD package together, but there are connections to some extent between the two films – with wanting to make one’s lot in life better and one’s self respect better and of what the reality of that is for some, and there are other aspects or topics in both films that are also covered.

In “La Promesse” (1999) there are strong performances from the cast and especially Jérémie Renier and Olivier Gourmet, and as with other films that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have written and directed there is a good story with a well-told narrative. “La Promesse” covers a number of issues including amongst them is whether someone’s moral conscience can be pricked and done so enough for the person to change. A bleak film but one that is compelling viewing.

In “Rosetta” (1999) we are presented with an insight into the life of the main character of Rosetta. And it’s not a great life that we are shown. Whether there was deliberate reference to “La Promesse” and the life that some characters in that film were hoping for – and the reality of life for at least one person already here, I am not sure but it is an interesting connection.

Émilie Dequenne’s performance is superb as the eponymous character and her award for Best Actress at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival is not in the least bit surprising to me, nor is it surprising that “Rosetta” unanimously won the Palme d’Or also at Cannes that year.
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The sign of a good film is one you keep thinking about in the days after you've seen it, Rosetta did that to me.
Rosetta is a young girl alone up against the world. Living in poverty with her alcoholic mother she struggles to tie down the job she needs to improve her circumstances. In the final closing scene I just wanted to give Rosetta a big hug.
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I've send the DVD back immediately, because there where no English subtitles, only the original version, which makes no sense for me.
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One would expect a dvd being sold on a British website either to have English subtitles or to have sufficient warning that it doesn't. This purchase has been a complete waste of my money because the price of the postage is greater than the DVD itself. I hope that UK Amazon looks into this to ensure in future that sellers provide sufficient information in an easily accessible way.
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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
The Dardenne brothers have had a lot of success at Cannes which has led to most of their films getting a cinema release in this country, although not Le Silence de Lorna, as far as I'm aware, nor, for the time being, the latest, Le Gamin au velo. They really are wonderful directors and use film with such integrity, being only concerned with essential truths and not compromising their vision in any way to make it more 'entertaining'. I think of them as the inheritors of the Bresson style, there is such a concern with the truths you cannot see, yet the style is rooted in the concrete physical reality of the characters' daily lives. There is no music (except a few bars just at the end of Le Silence de Lorna). I also love the way they focus on people who do not usually get a voice outside of soap operas, but here the tone is very much not that. Rosetta is, in many ways, not particularly likeable, but it is this refusal to sentimentalise her that makes her so challenging. I was really shocked by the way she treats a young man who tries to help her, but the ending manages to leave you with a sense of incredible insight and compassion that the directors bring us to. It is the same in La Promesse, although here the boy is much more sympathetic to start with. His dilemma and moral path couldn't be more movingly shown, and the film also draws attention to the plight of illegal immigrants and the circumstances of their lives. I found the father/son dynamic to be one of the most powerful I have ever seen on screen, which is also due to Olivier Gourmet and the fantastic Jeremie Renier in his first role in a Dardenne film. He has since acted in a number of others, always brilliantly. But this can already be seen in the teenage role he takes on here. The film is phenomenal in its analysis and emotional reach.
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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.
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