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OSCARS: ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ Featurette

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 2:19pm PST
Pete Hammond

For the first time, all Oscar voters have been sent all five of the nominated Foreign Language films BrokenCircleBreakdownby the Academy, and all members are now eligible to vote without having to prove they have seen the films in a theatre — or that they have even seen all five. Of course the Academy hopes they will. Among the nominees  – which include Italy’s The Great Beauty, Denmark’s The Hunt, Palestine’s Omar and Cambodia’s The Missing Picture – the real dark horse in the race could be Belgium’s The Broken Circle Breakdown which mixes bluegrass music and an emotional love affair in a foreign picture tinged with American culture. It’s unlike any of the other foreign-language entries this year, so it’s no surprise it made the cut. Director Felix van Groeningen’s  film is currently in theatres and VOD and the DVD releases March 11th. Here’s an exclusive look at the featurette:

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ICM Partners Signs Belgian Actress Veerle Baetens

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 11:20am PST

image001EXCLUSIVE: One of the leads in the Best Foreign Language Oscar nominated film The Broken Circle Breakdown has signed on with ICM Partners, I’ve learned. Veerle Baetens, who plays tattoo artist and grieving mother Elise Vandeveld in the film, will be repped by the agency in all areas. As well as being an Oscar nominee this year, Broken Circle Breakdown, directed by Felix van Groeningen has been a blockbuster in Belgium and spawned the best selling soundtrack in the nation’s history. Additionally, Baetens herself won the Best Actress award at both the 2013 European Film Awards and Tribeca Film Festival last year for her performance. The singer and actress, who also starred in the Starz/BBC drama The White Queen, will continued to be repped in Europe by Rosalie Cimino at UBBA.

Related: CAA Signs Felix Van Groeningen

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CAA Signs Belgian Helmer Felix Van Groeningen

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 9:16am PST
Mike Fleming

VAN_GROENINGEN_FELIXEXCLUSIVE: Belgian director Felix van Groeningen has signed with CAA, and also Management 360 and attorney Alan Wertheimer. van Groeningen co-wrote and directed The Broken Circle Breakdown, which was recently nominated for a Best Foreign Film Cesar Award and was Belgium’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language film.

The film, which got a slew of festival awards, was acquired for U.S. distribution by Tribeca Film.

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‘Broken Circle Breakdown’ Best Foreign Film At Palm Springs Film Fest

Broken Circle BreakdownThis year’s FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language film at the Palm Springs International Film Festival went to Belgian entry The Broken Circle Breakdown, from director Felix van Groeningen. The annual desert fest also awarded acting prizes to Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt) and Bérénice Bejo (The Past). Audience award winners will be announced Sunday. Scroll down for full list: Read More »

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Foreign Language Oscar Preview: A Long List Of Strong Contenders For Such A Shortlist Of Possible Nominees

oscarLast year, I offered up a preview of the 15 films that had the most buzz going into the unveiling of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist. Somehow this year, with a record 76 entries (last year it was 71), I whittled down another 15 films that have a shot at the shortlist which is expected to be finalized later this week. This was not an easy task in one of the strongest fields for foreign film in recent years. While 2012′s eventual winner Amour seemed like a foregone conclusion, this year has any number of possible outcomes. Movies that started their careers in Berlin and Cannes are represented below, but so are others that didn’t make it to those high-profile events. I spoke with the directors of each film about their inspirations and expectations, and in some cases with the U.S. distributor about what gave them the confidence to acquire. Notably, Harvey Weinstein clarifies the controversy surrounding an edit of Wong Kar Wai’s Hong Kong entry The Grandmaster. There’s also a lot more here from folks like Paolo Sorrentino, Thomas Vinterberg and Sebastian Lelio, among many others. The rules for selecting the final winner have changed this year with the entire Academy voting body able to weigh in without proving they have seen the films in a movie theater. But the regs for establishing the shortlist remain the same: The Phase I committee determines six of the nine films on the shortlist. The other three titles will be determined by the select Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee. Those three extra titles might have international renown but been somehow overlooked by the larger committee (wink, wink City Of God, 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days and others). After that, an uber-committee of 30 higher profile members chooses the ultimate five nominees after viewing the finalists over the course of a long weekend. Below (in alphabetical order by title) are profiles of the 15 films that I believe have a shot at the first stage: Read More »

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2013 European Film Awards: Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘The Great Beauty’ Dazzles With Wins For Best Film, Director & Actor

efaThe 26th European Film Awards ceremony just concluded tonight in Berlin. Last year, on its road to a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar win and a Best Picture nomination, Michael Haneke’s Amour won four prizes including Best European Film. This year, Italy’s Oscar entry The Great Beauty was the big winner with nods for film, director, lead actor, and a previously announced prize for editing. Paolo Sorrentino’s love letter to Rome, as seen through the eyes of a 65-year-old man, was a Cannes competitor earlier this year. Sorrentino was not on hand at the ceremony. The movie had four nominations tonight, The-Great-Beauty1losing out only in the screenwriting category where the prize went to France’s François Ozon for In The House. The most-nominated film this evening was Felix van Groeningen’s Berlin and Tribeca prize-winner, The Broken Circle Breakdown. Out of five nominations, the Oscar entry from Belgium walked away with one, for actress Veerle Baetens. Other major winners announced tonight included Ari Folman’s best animated feature The Congress. In what was an overriding theme of the night – collaboration between film industries – the Israeli director pointed out that nine different nations and 270 animators had contributed to the movie.

Opening the show, German comedy star and host of the evening, Anke Engelke, joked it was the first time Michael Haneke “won’t go home with 26 prizes.” … Read More »

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‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ Leads European Film Awards Nominations

The European Film Academy has unveiled the nominees for the 26th European Film Awards. Felix van Groeningen’s Berlin and Tribeca prize-winner, The Broken Circle Breakdown, leads the pack with five nods in each of the top categories. The film is also Belgium’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar. Paolo Sorrentino’s Cannes competitor, and Italy’s Oscar entry, The Great Beauty, has four nominations. Another film from Italy, Giuseppe Tornatore’s English-language The Best Offer starring Geoffrey Rush, also fared well with the Academy, taking three nominations. Three other films garnered three nods: François Ozon’s In The House; Jan Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy!, which won six Lolas in Germany earlier this year; and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. The latter film bagged acting nods for Jude Law and Keira Knightley. Blue Is The Warmest Color was mentioned twice, for Best European Film and Best European Director; although there were no citations for the film’s lead actresses. Naomi Watts also is a nominee for The Impossible. The winners will be announced in Berlin on December 7th. Following is a full list of the nominees: Read More »

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Belgium, Hong Kong Make Popular Foreign-Language Oscar Picks; India Confounds

As the October 1st deadline approaches, Foreign Language Oscar submissions are coming fast and furious. The latest high-profile entries are Belgium’s The Broken Circle Breakdown, Hong Kong’s The Grandmaster and, especially notable for its unexpected appearance, India’s The Good Road. The latter was selected over the weekend and spurred consternation in India and elsewhere as many had expected Ritesh Batra’s Cannes Critics’ Week charmer The Lunchbox to be chosen. That film was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics in Cannes and had been perceived as the frontrunner for India’s Oscar entry; its biggest competitors appeared to be drama Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and comedy/drama English Vinglish. Instead, Gyan Correa’s Good Road, which weaves together three storylines on a highway in the rural land of Gujarat, was given the nod. Backed by the National Film Development Corporation of India, it won an Indian National Film Award as Best Gujarati movie a few months ago and is the first film from the region to ever be submitted to the Oscars. It does not have a U.S. distributor, leading some to wonder how effective a campaign it can run.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’

By | Friday September 20, 2013 @ 2:54pm PDT

A tattoo shop owner and a banjo player fight to save their marriage in Felix van Groeningen’s romantic drama. After scoring the Audience Award in Berlin, The Broken Circle Breakdown won best screenplay and actress trophies at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, and Tribeca Film acquired it a month later. Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh star in the bluegrass-infused film scripted by Carl Joos and van Groeningen. Here’s the trailer for the Belgium-Netherlands co-production, which opens November 1:

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