La promesse

La promesse

DVD - 2012 | French
Average Rating:
5
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The breakthrough feature from Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. The brothers brought their unerring eye for detail and their compassion for those on society's lowest rungs developed in their earlier documentary work to an absorbing drama about a teenager who is gradually coming to understand the implications of his father making a living off of illegal alien workers.

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masonrobert068
Dec 13, 2016

These movies by the D'Ardenne brothers are the best ones
I know of that depict the real lives of the real working class,
especially when people are forced to make a living by
preying upon people even more vulnerable themselves.
This movie shows the extraordinary journey of a boy who,
seeing his father intentionally let a refuge die, slowly comes to
understand right and wrong and courage. I found the authors'
commentary very moving and lyrical.

n
Nursebob
Aug 29, 2015

Another gritty slice-of-life drama from the Dardenne brothers featuring strong performances and filmed in the naturalistic style that has become their trademark. Levelling the playing field somewhat, the Dardennes are not so quick to point fingers as they are to paint a simple picture of flawed humans trying to deal with what life has given them. The father may be an ogre but he is not without some small compassion; the migrants may be desperate but they are not above ratting each other out or gambling away what little means they have; and all attempts by the authorities to stem the flow of human trafficking are cosmetic at best including a staged takedown of four hapless Romanians which the local mayor uses as a campaign photo-op. Stark and uncompromising right up to its unhappily ambivalent final frame, "La Promesse" is free of the usual knee-jerk sermonizing and emotional manipulation one would expect (it doesn’t even have a musical score), a fact which makes its subject matter all the more unsettling.

1
1aa
May 30, 2015

An intense and touching film about exploitation and deception and the ultimate victory of truth.

voisjoe1 Oct 21, 2012

A truly despicable act will grate on a normal person's conscience. Only the abnormal personality can put such a thing out of his mind. This early movie made by the Dardenne brothers is a true harbinger of their later Cannes Palm d"Or films (two), a fete won only by six other directors in the long Cannes history. This is a film not to be missed by the serious film lover. Dardenne fans should seek the Criterion Collection version which includes extensive interviews of the directors and actors.

voisjoe1 Oct 21, 2012

A truly despicable act will grate on a normal person's conscience. Only the abnormal personality can put such a thing out of his mind. This early movie made by the Dardenne brothers is a true harbinger of their later Cannes Palm d'Or films (two), a fete accomplished by just six other directors in the long Cannes history. This is a film not to be missed by the serious film lover.

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