The Broken Circle Breakdown

The Broken Circle Breakdown

Film poster
Directed by Felix Van Groeningen
Written by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels
Starring Veerle Baetens
Johan Heldenbergh
Cinematography Ruben Impens
Release dates
  • 10 October 2012 (2012-10-10)
Running time
111 minutes
Country Belgium
Language Flemish
Box office $5.5 million[1]

The Broken Circle Breakdown is a 2012 Belgian drama film directed by Felix Van Groeningen. Based on the play written by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels, its main characters are Didier, played by Heldenbergh, and Elise, played by actress/singer Veerle Baetens. Young newcomer Nell Cattrysse is their ill daughter Maybelle.

The film was selected as the Belgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards,[2][3] and was on the nominated shortlist.[4] It was the winner of the 2013 LUX Prize.[5]



The film is set in Ghent, in the Flemish Region of Belgium, and explores the lives of Didier and Elise over seven years as they fall in love through their passion for bluegrass music. They have a daughter, Maybelle, who develops cancer after her sixth birthday, and succumbs to it within a year. The death of Maybelle has a devastating effect on their relationship and their lives.


The film was shot from 18 July to 8 September 2011 in Belgium.[6]


The bluegrass soundtrack includes traditional songs [7] as well as music composed for the film by Bjorn Eriksson.[8] All the music in the band scenes is performed by the actors.[8]

  1. Will the Circle Be Unbroken? See also Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By)
  2. The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn by Alison Krauss, Pat Brayer, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Barry Bales, and Ron Block
  3. Dusty Mixed Feelings
  4. Wayfaring Stranger
  5. Rueben's Train
  6. Country In My Genes
  7. Further On Up The Road
  8. Where Are You Heading, Tumbleweed?
  9. Over In The Gloryland
  10. Cowboy Man
  11. "If I Needed You"
  12. Carved Tree Inn
  13. Sandmountain
  14. Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us
  15. Blackberry Blossom


Award Category Recipient Outcome
Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film The Broken Circle Breakdown Nominated
César Awards[9][10] Best Foreign Film The Broken Circle Breakdown Won
Denver Film Critics Society[11] Best Foreign Language Film The Broken Circle Breakdown Nominated
European Film Awards[12] European Film The Broken Circle Breakdown Nominated
European Director Felix Van Groeningen Nominated
European Actress Veerle Baetens Won
European Actor Johan Heldenbergh Nominated
European Screenwriter Carl Joos and Felix van Groeningen Nominated
People's Choice Award[13] The Broken Circle Breakdown Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Foreign Language Film The Broken Circle Breakdown Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Foreign Language Film The Broken Circle Breakdown Won
Tribeca Film Festival Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film Veerle Baetens Won
Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film Carl Joos, Felix Van Groeningen Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association[14] Best Foreign Language Film The Broken Circle Breakdown Won
Lux Prize Best Film - only category The Broken Circle Breakdown Won

See also


  2. "The Broken Circle Breakdown represents Belgium at Foreign Language Oscars". Flanders Image. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  3. "Oscars: Belgium Nominates 'The Broken Circle Breakdown' for Foreign Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  4. "Oscars: Main nominations 2014". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  5. "LUX Prize 2013". European Parliament. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  6. "Pressbook - The Broken Circle Breakdown.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  7. "The Broken Circle Breakdown(2012) Soundtracks". IMDB. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  8. 1 2 "The Broken Circle Breakdown highlights Belgian bluegrass". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  9. "Berenice Bejo, Lea Seydoux, Roman Polanski Among France's Cesar Awards Nominees". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  10. "France's Cesar Awards: 'Me, Myself and Mum' Wins Best Film". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  11. Lodge, Guy (7 January 2014). "2013 Denver Film Critics' Society nominations". HitFix. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  12. "'The Broken Circle Breakdown' Leads European Film Awards Nominations". PMC. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  14. Tapley, Kristopher (December 8, 2013). "'12 Years a Slave' and 'Her' lead the way with Washington D.C. critics nominations". HitFix. Retrieved December 8, 2013.

External links

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