|Pauline & Paulette|
Dora van der Groen, Ann Petersen, Rosemarie Bergmans, Julienne De Bruyn
In Flemish; widescreen; closed caption; English subtitles; commentary by director Lieven Debrauwer; theatrical trailer.
|Quiet and skillful, this Belgian drama about an elderly retarded woman and her relationship with her three sisters is also fairly unsentimental and pretty darn sad. The tragedy of a disabled person shunned by his or her family is a difficult subject to address, but director Lieven Debrauwer makes it real. Martha (Julienne De Bruyn) has always cared for her childlike sibling Pauline, believably played by popular Belgian actress Dora van der Groen. Then, Martha dies, and her will stipulates that one of her other sisters, Paulette (Ann Petersen) or Cecile (Rosemarie Bergmans), must take custody of Pauline in order for both to inherit Martha's estate. Neither Paulette nor Cecile wants to take responsibility for Pauline, an unwitting burden on her two surviving sisters. Yet, they each want their inheritance, so they take turns reluctantly offering a home to Pauline. Despite flashes of humor, the pathos hangs heavy as Debrauwer eavesdrops on a succession of uncomfortable moments.|