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on 22 May 2014
When I started watching this film I hadn't realised it would have English subtitles, and I have to say I think it lost nothing for being subtitled. The storyline is beautiful, with the transitions between time periods easy to follow without being "obvious". I really enjoyed the way it was filmed, with some really slow-moving scenes. I described it to a friend as like watching real-life rather than watching a film. It evoked the right amount of emotion and I think I will be adding it to my favourites list.
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on 18 May 2017
A fantastic film. As wonderful in the beginning as it is heart-breaking towards the end. (I'm not sure I could watch it again.) You would never believe the actors were acting - they seem genuinely besotted. The music and atmosphere are, again, 'wonderful'!
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on 16 January 2018
Such a great, heartfelt movie. Love the bluegrass soundtrack too! Amazing acting by both leads, completely believable chemistry.
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on 9 October 2017
thanks
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on 24 August 2017
Really believable characters, fell in love with them both. Totally heartbreaking with an awesome bluegrass soundtrack.
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on 15 March 2015
After reading the reviews, I expected much from the movie but was very disappointed. It should have been called 'A sad county musical' due to the random focus on American Country Music for a Belgium couple who are losing their daughter. The film's attempt to jump through different time scenes does not add much to the storyline or the characters. In the review it quotes that the wife is religious, but she is not. She can be described as a free - spirit, which makes the husband's anti- religious views unrelated to the fundamental disconnect of the core ideas the couple keep in the movie. I would have liked to see more focus on the actual illness of the child and how the couple dealt with this rather than their random music performances with their country band. I think the movie dragged and could have ended in the middle. Although it would have been very short, it would have been a lot more realistic.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 4 January 2014
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A melancholic melodrama set in Belgium centred on a young couple who perform in a bluegrass Band; an unlikely premise perhaps, but a convincing and powerful little tale nonetheless.

Although the main thread of the storyline is Didier's relationship with tattoo artist Elise and Maybelle, their little daughter, Didier is the central character. Romantically obsessed with America and Appalachian bluegrass music, the songs - their haunting messages of love, life and relationships - even his vision of America - become increasingly at odds with the heartbreaking realities of the family's own life and the modern America of G.W.Bush, which plays out as background on the TV screen. As his illusions and his relationship with Elise disintegrates, Didier gives vent to his frustrations with an outburst onstage leading to tragic consequences.
Parts of the story are revealed in flashback, the songs serving as punctuation as events are unfolded; the changes in timeline are abrupt but carefully structured - the film is well-made with good attention to sound and photography - the acting is excellent.
Those of a religious disposition will probably find Didier's rant rather unpalatable.

This is a creditable - if intensely sorrowful film, but I`m not surprised it has been nominated - and has already won - a string of awards; it will stay with you long after watching it.
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VINE VOICEon 2 February 2014
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Didier plays and sings in a Bluegrass band, he meets the lovely Elise who owns her own Tattoo shop. She is also covered in colourful tattoos.
The two fall passionately in love and spend a lot of time at Didier's country ramshackle home. Both of them have a love of all things Americana and have a great time together. Elise begins to sing with the Band on their gigs. She is a powerful singer with a moving voice that creates a lot of atmosphere throughout the film.
Elise becomes pregnant and after a bumpy start they have a beautiful daughter, Maybelle.
The story is told in flashbacks, so we see the couple happy in love alternating with the sadness and tragic circumstances as their daughter becomes very ill.
The music is integral to the film. It signals changes and expresses deep emotions for the characters. Two songs stood out for me, "Wayfaring Stranger" and "If you needed me". Not surprisingly there is a CD released of this wonderful musical soundtrack.

This is a very sad film though never sentimental. It is brave, honest and very moving. I think if you have recently been bereaved of a child you may find it very intense.
Issues are being explored like Didier's love of America will be heavily challenged. How to talk to a child about death and the conflict of a religious belief and a non-religious outlook.
The film doesn't try to give answers, it makes you think and will stay with you for a while after. I found the film's depiction of grief very authentic.
Though I wanted a different outcome, the film leaves you to your own thoughts and beliefs.

There is a very strong cast I especially enjoyed the child actress Nell Cattrysee who played Maybelle I thought her performance was outstanding.
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2014
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What an emotional film this is. Beautifully done, a wonderful cast and great music all combined perfectly and it's no surprise it received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

The relationship between Didier and Elise is charming whilst at the same time tragic and the story is a powerful one. Their daughter Maybelle's illness is pivotal in their future together and it's heartbreaking to watch everything unravel and spiral out of control. It's very moving and I'll admit to shedding tears in a couple of parts.

The Bluegrass music plays a big part in the story and I don't think it would have worked quite as well without it. I didn't really have views one way or the other about Bluegrass before watching this but I might just have to seek out some albums to listen to and am happy to have found a new listening experience as a bonus.

I'd definitely recommend this one. If you're already a fan of foreign language films then this one is eminently watchable and if you're new to subtitled movies you could do much worse than start with this one. It's a wonderful story and beautifully told.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 January 2014
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you like your country (more specifically bluegrass) music and tragic tales then this is one for you as it has plenty of both. I'm certainly not a huge fan of either but they combined fantastically here in a moving and occasionally provocative film that kept my attention for its duration.

It's both a feel good and a feel bad film as we are caught up in the idyllic life of Elise and Didier who come together and their "harmony" is complete when she joins his band and they are blessed with a beautiful daughter before tragedy strikes. Great performances from the leads - Didier reminded me of Kris Kristofferson and Elise of June Carter (Reese Witherspoon) in the excellent Walk the Line. If you liked that film, you'll love this and may also be quite tempted to move to a farm in cowboy country (that's rural Belgium).
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