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The Ardennes

(D'Ardennen)
Belgium 2015. Dir: Robin Pront. 96 min. DCP

With visual panache and surprise tonal shifts, Belgian first-time feature director Robin Pront crafts a taught, twisting tale of criminal life and fraternal dysfunction in The Ardennes, Belgium’s official submission to last year’s Oscars. Brothers Dave (Jeroen Perceval, Borgman) and Kenny are crooks of the Antwerp underworld. When a home-burglary job gets botched, Dave, in a panic, abandons his brother at the crime scene. Four years later, Kenny is released from prison and reunited with Dave, now sober and gone-straight — and who, unbeknownst to Kenny, has been carrying on an affair with the volatile ex-con’s girlfriend, the getaway driver on that fateful night. “This is storytelling as lean and unpredictable as a fighting dog; it’s one of the strongest first features I have seen this year” (Wendy Ide, The Guardian). In Dutch and French with English subtitles.