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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 March 2017
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. The camera follows Rosetta relentlessly as she aggressively peruses her goal (a better life/self-respect) and that camera doesn’t let up. It is an intense performance and an intense and bleak film, but is well worth viewing.

The stories that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne come up with although are often simple, they are really very, very good, and the way that they give their stories the narrative they do with their direction works brilliantly. In the extra features Émilie Dequenne says of the two brothers “They are geniuses” and I agree with her comment!

On the two DVD’s you get:

DVD (“La Promesse”)
“La Promesse” (1 hour 30 minutes)
Audio: French, Italian
Subtitles: Dutch, Italian, English, On/Off
Trailer
Filmography of Jérémie Renier
Filmography of Olivier Gourmet
Filmography of the Dardenne brothers
Picture Gallery

DVD (“Rosetta”)
“Rosetta” (1 hour 30 minutes)
Scene Selection
Audio: French, Italian
Subtitles: Dutch, Italian, English, On/Off
Actors Biographies: Émilie Dequenne , Fabrizio Rongione, Olivier Gourmet, Anne Yernaux
Directors Biographies and Filmographies: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
Les Films du Fleuve (Company set up by the two brothers)
Special Features:
Trailer
Interviews with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (covering both films in the DVD package)
Photo Gallery
Cannes
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on 28 May 2017
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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on 23 August 2010
Dont Know Why But I Love This Film Its Bleak But Brilliant In Its Own Way
2 people found this helpful
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on 27 November 2014
vg
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on 21 June 2015
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 November 2017
Featuring an unforgettable, award-winning, debut performance from teenage Belgian actress, Émilie Dequenne, as the film’s seemingly dispassionate, but determined, titular 'heroine’, the Dardennes brothers’ 1999 film firmly cemented their reputation as tellers of small-scale, naturalistic tales of the marginalised in society. Absent a musical score, and comprising (I would guess) only a handful of pages of dialogue, the film-makers frequently convey Rosetta’s increasingly desperate personal dilemma, of having just lost her job and having to tolerate (and support) her drunken mother in a hand to mouth existence, via a series of lingering close-ups from which the audience is left to make up its own mind as to how this immature, confused soul is weighing up the moral dimensions to the situations she faces and the choices she makes. As is these film-makers’ wont, we’re not spoon-fed easy resolutions. There are no conventional heroes or heroines, everyone here is struggling to make ends meet, perhaps ‘circumventing the system’ if necessary, in order to get by. But, within this approach, what shines through is the film’s sense of authenticity (honesty and truth), animated on screen by the film’s visceral, quasi-documentary look-and-feel, courtesy of regular Dardennes’ collaborator, cinematographer Alain Marcoen.

Dequenne’s performance is really all-consuming (her character being hardly ever off-screen), and it is an understated performance whose emotive impact is elicited via the consummate narrative and visual skill of these film-makers. Thus, Rosetta’s seemingly detached, clinical ambition of wanting a ‘normal life’ and 'a real job’ is tempered (and humanised) by her innate love for her mother (in the 'drowning’ scene and that where she holds a conversation with her 'invisible friend’ in bed) and her rare moments of light-heartedness (notably as she breaks into her first smile, 40 minutes in, at the gymnastic ineptness of her newly-acquired friend, Fabrizio Rongione’s Riquet). Similarly, Rosetta’s latent humanity and increasing sense of desperation combine to ratchet up the film’s sense of tension as she approaches Olivier Gourmet’s businessman and again as she later makes her decisive phone-call to the same character. The film’s sense of claustrophobic intimacy is accentuated by its small cast – essentially only three characters have more than a handful of lines and both Gourmet and (especially) Rongione are excellent – both actors subsequently going on to be regular collaborators with the Dardennes.

Subject matter and cinematic style-wise, the Dardennes brothers have been frequently likened to Ken Loach and Rosetta bears some comparison (troubled offspring of a 'delinquent’ mother) with Loach’s (equally good) Sweet Sixteen. Typically, these Belgian film-makers have less of an overtly political dimension to their films than Loach and Rosetta is an excellent example of this.
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on 26 December 2013
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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 29 February 2012
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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on 15 July 2012
To say that Emilie Dequenne. the young actress playing Rosetta - and who won the Golden Palm at Cannes for her efforts here, is 'plucky', would sound patronising, to say the least.

This is structured documentary film-making at its most urgent - and poignant. The premise for most could hardly be less appealing - an independent film, filmed at a moderately sized Belgian industrial town, with an actress who wears no make-up (yes, the odd pimple, too) has an alcoholic mother who gets more booze by offering herself for sex and they both 'inhabit' a tiny, leaky caravan on a caravan park.

By plucky, I mean that Rosetta is almost always running - from someone, after someone - including her own mother - to a job, from a job. When not doing that, she gets thrown in a lake (by same person as above), catching fish in said very muddy lake, using a broken glass jar. She is always trying to either get work, keep her job or survive, somehow.

This all sounds quite frantic - and it is, when the hand-held camera follows her, is glued to her, almost, as she goes past so close, she briefly goes out of focus. But often, it is meditative, thought-provoking and downright very ordinary. Which, oddly, is extremely compelling, never more so during the gaps in dialogue.

Underneath this hardened facade - she only swears and fights when really pressed, then she's like a terrier dog - we hope to see a normal young lady, who can do things that she enjoys. We only see this once, when the young man at the new waffle-van where she finally gets a casual job, takes her after the first day, back to his, for food and playing of some music.

If this is SO mundanely glum, why am I watching it for the second time? Well, my Halliwells Film Guide (bible, to me) rated it highly and I got a copy cheap as a Korean import and secondly, you just know that there is a message here. Not necessarily a very important one, but one that we need to reminded of, when we all (and our Governments) continually moan about the youth of today and how they never want to work - and about caring for those unable to care for themselves.

It's also very sobering (definitely no pun intended) and one with an ending that you'll remember.
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on 15 July 2012
To say that Emilie Dequenne. the young actress playing Rosetta - and who won the Golden Palm at Cannes for her efforts here, is 'plucky', would sound patronising, to say the least.

This is structured documentary film-making at its most urgent - and poignant. The premise for most could hardly be less appealing - an independent film, filmed at a moderately sized Belgian industrial town, with an actress who wears no make-up (yes, the odd pimple, too) has an alcoholic mother who gets more booze by offering herself for sex and they both 'inhabit' a tiny, leaky caravan on a caravan park.

By plucky, I mean that Rosetta is almost always running - from someone, after someone - including her own mother - to a job, from a job. When not doing that, she gets thrown in a lake (by same person as above), catching fish in said very muddy lake, using a broken glass jar. She is always trying to either get work, keep her job or survive, somehow.

This all sounds quite frantic - and it is, when the hand-held camera follows her, is glued to her, almost, as she goes past so close, she briefly goes out of focus. But often, it is meditative, thought-provoking and downright very ordinary. Which, oddly, is extremely compelling, never more so during the gaps in dialogue.

Underneath this hardened facade - she only swears and fights when really pressed, then she's like a terrier dog - we hope to see a normal young lady, who can do things that she enjoys. We only see this once, when the young man at the new waffle-van where she finally gets a casual job, takes her after the first day, back to his, for food and playing of some music.

If this is SO mundanely glum, why am I watching it for the second time? Well, my Halliwells Film Guide (bible, to me) rated it highly and I got a copy cheap as a Korean import and secondly, you just know that there is a message here. Not necessarily a very important one, but one that we need to reminded of, when we all (and our Governments) continually moan about the youth of today and how they never want to work - and about caring for those unable to care for themselves.

It's also very sobering (definitely no pun intended) and one with an ending that you'll long remember.
|0Comment|Report abuse

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