Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown, which is representing Belgium at the Academy Awards, is among the five films nominated for this year’s Best Foreign-language Oscar, it was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) today. The film is Belgium’s seventh nomination in this category. The winners of the 86th Academy Awards will be announced in Hollywood on 2 March.
The Broken Circle Breakdown tells the story of the great love affair between tattoo artist Elise (Veerle Baetens) and bluegrass musician Didier (Johan Heldenbergh). After bonding over their shared enthusiasm for American music and culture, they dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage – but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is put to the test.
Already a box office hit in several territories, The Broken Circle Breakdown features a breakthrough performance by Veerle Baetens, who won Best Actress at both the Tribeca Film Festival and the European Film Awards. Director Felix van Groeningen co-wrote the award-winning screenplay with Carl Joos. The film also picked up the Panorama Audience Award at Berlin, the Best Screenplay Award at Tribeca, and nine Ensor Awards (including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Music) in Belgium. Variety also selected van Groeningen as one of its ‘10 Euro Directors to Watch’. On Sunday, the film also grabbed the top prize at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The Broken Circle Breakdown’s soundtrack, scored by Björn Eriksson, has been number one in the soundtrack charts in all the territories where it has been released and has become the best-selling soundtrack of all time in Belgium. Co-stars Baetens and Heldenbergh perform their own songs in the film, and are part of the offscreen Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band, whose European tour is sold out all through 2014.
Director of photography is Ruben Impens, while Nico Leunen signed for the editing. Jan Deca was responsible for the sound department, with Michael Schöpping in charge of sound design. Production designer is Kurt Rigolle, with Ann Lauwerys as costume designer and Diana Dreesen responsible for make-up.
The Broken Circle Breakdown is produced by Dirk Impens for Menuet, in co-production with Topkapi Films (NL). The film is released in the US by Tribeca Film. International sales are handled by The Match Factory. The film received production and promotional support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).
Two years ago, Belgium’s Bullhead by Michaël R Roskam, starring Matthias Schoenaerts, also made it to the list of the five Foreign-language nominees.