Some films are, for lack of a better word, glacial; they're immense, dense, frozen and seemingly immobile. And a film like that can affect the viewer in one of two ways; either you bounce off the frozen surface of it, shut out and shunned -- or you find the frozen surface to be a mirror, showing you things within your own reaction to it. With its naturalistic tone and bleak outlook, the new film from the Dardenne Brothers, Lorna's Silence, is certain to provoke those kinds of polarized reactions. I found myself more in tune with the film and what it was reaching for, and was impressed by the familiar Dardenne methods and concerns and themes (which won their film L'Enfant the Palme d'Or in 2005 and Rosetta the same award in 1999) in Lorna's Silence. At the same time, I can also understand the somewhat lukewarm reception for Lorna's Silence; it's only at Cannes that you hear people saying "Oh, not another hyper-realistic drama set in the gulfs and gaps between old and new Europe. ..."

We follow Lorna (Arta Dobroshi) through her day -- phone calls, work, dealing with life. And that life gradually makes its shape known to us. She's an Albanian, living in Belgium; she's entered a marriage of convenience with Claudy (Jeremie Renier) that's not actually convenient at all, as Claudy's a junkie who's trying to quit; his needs and demands hang heavy on her. But then Lorna has a meeting with Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione), and things take a very different turn, as he explains that they have to be sure that Claudy's death looks like an accident. ...
categories Reviews, Cinematical