189 Great Directors: Jean-Luc and Pierre Dardenne

“The truth is always less interesting than the fiction.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Cumulative. Mostly L’Enfant, though.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Two Days One Night.

What Did I Watch: La Promesse.

Where Does He Fit: La Promesse is about how it’s so easy to break bonds and promises even when we desperately don’t want to, with contracts being abused and torn up throughout as we watch a tricky situation get navigated with grace by the Dardennes and horribly by the father and son at the center of it. The leading trinity gives immaculate performances, but even during the happier moments between father/son and the son’s friendship with the wife of the man he’s hiding, the tension is like a whip, ready to lash out. Real problems like this are what cinema is all about.


Most Valuable Asset: Real lives are hard.
Most Excited For: Rosetta.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Real talker Richard Linklater.


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