THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN tells the love story between Elise and Didier. She has her own tattoo shop, he plays the banjo in a band. It is love at first sight, in spite of major differences. He talks, she listens. He is a dedicated atheist, although at the same time a naïve romantic. She has a cross tattooed in her neck, even though she has both feet firmly on the ground. Their happiness is complete after their little girl Maybelle is born. Unfortunately, Maybelle, at six years old, becomes seriously ill. Didier and Elise respond in very different ways. But Maybelle does not leave them any choice. Didier and Elise will have to fight for her together. Will you get through something like that if you are so different? Or will love let you down if you need it most? THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN is an intense melodrama, full of passion and music. About how love can conquer fate, and sometimes not.

Director's Statement

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN is an adaptation of a theatre play by Johan Heldenbergh. Johan is a friend and I've worked with him as an actor on two of my previous films. When I saw his play I was totally flabbergasted. The combination of the personal story, the music, and the theme (reason vs religion) just blew me away. Johan is very interested in film, so he was very excited when I expressed my interest in an adaptation. He was also in favour of not collaborating on the screenwriting. So I started working on the script together with screenwriter Carl Joos, but we had to start over a couple of times, before we could really crack it, as it was a pretty complex story.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Felix van Groeningen

Written by: Carl Joos, Felix van Groeningen

Produced by: Dirk Impens

Cinematography: Ruben Impens

Editing: Nico Leunen

Production Design: Kurt Rigolle

Costume Design: Ann Lauwerys

Original Score: Bjorn Eriksson

Sound: Jan Deca

Cast: Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse, Geert van Rampelberg, Nils de Caster, Veerle Baetens

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actress 2013
  • European Film 2013
  • European Director 2013
  • European Actor 2013
  • European Screenwriter 2013
  • Feature Film Selection 2013