Moscow, Belgium (2008) Poster

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7/10
Human drama as the story
CelluloidTape18 February 2009
Screenwriters, Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem and Pat van Beirs have written a script that gives us close scrutiny at a woman's character and how it slowly changes or bends as circumstances arise. They have done it well.

It is more often than not that one wold find character development like this in a "foreign" film. Maybe that is changing, and that would be a good thing. If we can trust that our audiences will watch characters interacting with one another, without the need for some cinematic shock, i.e. action, suspense, sex, etc, then we may have more movies like this in the U.S. I have nothing against action, suspense, sex, etc, it's just that we could use more movies that depict character studies.

Director, Christophe Van Rompaey takes the reins and nicely dramatizes this story about a domestic life, while holding back any temptation to rush.

Very nice performances are given by Barbara Sarafian, Jurgen Delnaet and Johan Hildenbergh.

Barbara Sarafian, Jurgen Delnaet, Johan Heldenbergh, Anemone Valcke, Sofia Ferri , Julian Borsani, Bob De Moor, Jits Van Belle and Griet van Damme
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8/10
Solid Sleeper From Abroad
gcrokus7 June 2009
If you want a little foreign flavor added to your usual movie-going experience, consider seeing "Moscow Belgium|" in the near future. It is one of the best small films to come along so far this year.

The movie begins simply enough – a harried mother (Barbara Sarafian as Matty) backs into a truck in the supermarket parking lot. The owner of the truck (Jurgen Delnaet as Johnny) steps down. Fingerpointing and verbal abuse of course follows; only the eventual arrival of the police keeps the situation from becoming any uglier than it is.

Later that day we see Matty bathing; her daughter interrupts her to say there is a phone call from Johnny. Matty blows this off, and despite the continued advances of Johnny Matty remains stoically immune to his attentions.

We find that Matty's art-professor husband has moved out to carry on an affair with one of his students. Matty would like a normal life; her kids, her husband and her lack of funds frustrates her. And now there is this persistent guy whom she tells she doesn't need any more things in her life.

But we can see that Johnny will not be shaken off as easily as that. So the balance of the movie essentially prances about the central theme; should she accept Johnny in her life or have her husband come back into her life?

Barbara Sarafian is a wonderful actress, playing straight-faced to all – her colleague at work, her suitors and her children. She convincingly conveys Matty's worn-down attitude; and according to her (interview at buzzine.com/2009/01/christophe-van-rompaey-interview) "you suspect that there is a bomb inside of her".

And so I leave it to you to see how Matty handles all her concerns and decides which is the best course for what probably be the rest of her life. I don't think you will for a second be disappointed with the outcome.

Three stars.
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9/10
Genius
kenneth-2244 February 2008
The movie sets place in Moscow, a small Belgian town district of Ghent. Matty and Johnny, 2 very common people, collide and the movie starts. From that point on a romantic story starts with a lot of humor and hilarious scenes with genius dialogs which are rare in Belgian movies these days.

This movie separates itself from all other Belgian movies by placing the characters up front and their story. That makes the movie so realistic and gives it a personal touch to the audience so they can relate with them. Also the typical dialect of the population in Ghent gives another aspect to this movie. Whereas most Belgian movies are situated in Antwerp this movie takes viewers to another location and another atmosphere which is a welcome relieve for a lot of viewers. I'm giving it 9 out of 10 stars!
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Fabulous Collision in Moscow Belgium!
isabelle195516 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I loved this movie!

It's amusing, touching, warm, sweet and salty and an exercise in great acting. Funny, but this the second movie I've watched recently that's set in Belgium (the other was 'In Bruges'). The nation must be striving to throw off its dull image and present a new face to the world. Moscow Belgium certainly overturns the concept that dysfunctional families are confined to North America. Here we have Eurodisfunction. Moscow (strictly Moscou) is the name of the suburb the protagonists inhabit, which as far as I can see is between Gent and the North Sea coast. It is glimpsed very briefly on the destination board on the front of a bus. This seemed to cause confusion amongst our audience and I overheard several muttered conversations as I left the theatre as to what on earth Russia had to do with it? So possibly the movie name has lost something in translation? It translates better as Collision in Moscou.

Barbara Sarafian plays Matty, a rather dowdy, phlegmatic, forty-something mother of three whose art teacher husband Werner has left her for one of his students some five and a half months before. She works in a post office, takes care of the kids and – when we meet her first – is trudging half heartedly around the local megastore buying groceries. Matty is more dead than alive. Exiting the car park, she reverses into the truck of Johnny (Jurgen Delnaet) a red haired, alcoholic but quite cute truck driver some ten years her junior, and a sharp exchange of views ensues about fault and blame, which ends abruptly with the arrival of the traffic police, called by Matty. It seems Johnny has a record.

The next day he turns up at her apartment to fix her damaged trunk and he asks her out for a drink. Johnny is intrigued by Matty, but she is less than enamoured of him. All she wants – she thinks – is her old life back; her husband home, her kids behaving and everything ordered and where it should be. Her coworker at the post office has assured her that sexual passion only lasts six months, so Werner will be back soon. But Johnny is persistent and Werner is flaky. Whereas Werner's new girlfriend phones him at awkward times, interrupting all his attempts to converse with his wife, Johnny is amusing and unequivocal about his desire to get Matty into his bed – or at least into the cab of his truck where he has a bunk. Matty can't quite believe she's doing this but is torn between the quiet life of a known but cheating husband and the roller coaster ride of a relationship with marginally criminal but laddishly attractive Johnny.

Then she discovers that Johnny put his ex wife in hospital and all bets are off. Can someone who has done prison time for hitting his last woman be trusted to have changed? Even if he does bond with her son at an air show and bring her Italian designer shoes from his road trips and make her feel sexier than she's felt in years.

Lurking in the background of all of this domestic drama are Matty and Werner's three bright children, nerdy Peter who is into airplanes, Fien who tells everyone's fortune with a deck of tarot cards and old-for-her-years Vera, who at sixteen watches and learns from the complicated mess the supposed adults are making of their sex lives. The intimate and often dull details of domestic life are lovingly filmed; Matty's obsession for feeding them blood sausage to build up pale Peter's health, the hours spent watching her laundry tumble around at the laundromat, Johnny sitting obediently at the dinner table like a slightly older version of her kids while she serves up family dinner. In one delicious scene, Johnny, Werner, Matty, the kids – everyone – share a meal while sniping at each other politely over the dinner plates and then in the midst of this domestic bliss, Vera introduces her girlfriend. She's decided life will be simpler if she is gay. Vera is played by Anemone Valcke who is both absolutely gorgeous and a very good young actress and I expect to see much, much more of her in future.

The script is perfect, the dialogue real – even in subtitles – and the direction quite understated. There are subtle under tones of a fading European class system at work here too, with teacher Werner obviously thinking Johnny – as a mere truck driver whose father was a railway worker – is intellectually his inferior. You get the feeling that Werner thinks his wife is a bit déclassé too, but of course he can hardly complain about her sleeping with Johnny when he is now bedding a student. I always think a 'foreign language' movie works really well when the acting is so good that you are barely aware that you are reading subtitles. There is no attempt to overstate the humour and force feed it to the audience, rather we absorb the irony and drama of the situation while Matty weighs up the potential fun and excitement of a new life with slightly dodgy but adoring Johnny against the known status quo of getting back together with pretentious Werner.

Great movie of human foibles and middle aged love. Go see.
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10/10
The Greatest Story Never Told
Nodriesrespect21 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Think of MOSCOW, BELGIUM as the little movie that could. Modestly produced with mostly TV talent on both sides of the camera, it went on to win about a ton of awards at various film festivals (most notably pocketing top prize at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes) and wow audiences worldwide. A deceptively simple love story between two unlikely candidates, both recipients of life's harsh blows, it has captured the hearts of many. Case in point, in the town of Ghent, where the movie takes place (not too far from Bruges, where yours truly resides), it has been playing theatrically for well over a year now, still doing solid (often repeat) business and developing something of a cult reputation, even though it has been out on DVD for quite a while. In an effort to support my local film industry, I try to go and see every Belgian movie that makes it to theaters, and some of them only make it in 'n' out like lightning, often undeservedly so, such as with Pieter Van Hees' LINKEROEVER and subsequent DIRTY MIND, both of which will hopefully attract wider audiences on DVD. Quiet, leisurely paced and unassuming, AANRIJDING IN MOSCOU (original title, meaning : Collision in Moscou, an area of the Ghent suburb of Ledegem) won me over in spades, made me come back to the cinema for a second helping and, hey, I just bought that shiny little disc as well !

Director Christophe Van Rompaey cut his teeth on Flemish TV series like the wildly popular TEAM SPIRIT (expanding on Jan Verheyen's box office blast, itself a remake of the Dutch ALL STARS) and the sadly underrated sitcom HALLELUJA! He was known by a happy few frequenting film festivals for award-winning shorts GRIJS ("Grey") and OH MY GOD?! Just about the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet and a proud native of Ghent, he poured heart and soul into his feature debut which serves, among many other things, as a love letter to his home town. The screenplay by Pat Van Beirs and Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem, who penned such idiosyncratic children's fare as DE BAL ("The Ball") and SCIENCE FICTION for director Danny Deprez, enlivens its straightforward narrative structure spanning a couple of weeks, divided by white on black title cards indicating what day it is, with richly quotable dialog that frequently takes a 180° turn from hilarious to heartbreaking and back again, suppressing sentimentality from rearing its all too convenient cabeza. Taking place among impersonal high rise buildings and dimly lit watering holes, DoP Ruben Impens imbues these unpromising locations with an improbable poetry akin to his cinematic musings on the nocturnal city scapes of Felix Van Groeningen's annoyingly petulant though certainly atmospheric STEVE + SKY. Tuur Florizoone's melancholy score, heavy on the accordion (still one of the most underestimated instruments ever), hits all the right notes.

Still reeling from her husband's betrayal, an art teacher (played with self-mocking sincerity by Johan Heldenbergh) taking up with a student half his age, downtrodden mother of three Matty (the incomparable Barbara Sarafian) clearly has her mind elsewhere when she backs the family station wagon into a truck on the supermarket parking lot. Said truck contains blow hard Johnny, a knockout performance by heretofore unknown Jurgen Delnaet (who had a bit part in Guido Henderickx' scalding if sadly overlooked S.), who immediately launches into the expected diatribe against women drivers. Giving every bit as good as she gets, and then some, Matty bounces back. Insults fly but so do sparks and Johnny will become quite an important part of her life from now. More than ten years younger and with a short fuse, he's not an obvious candidate for romance. Besides, there are the kids to consider and Matty's still hoping her spouse will come to his senses now that his affair is nearing the six month mark.

A solid supporting actress, locally loved for her TV comedy work, the partly of Armenian descent Sarafian, in her first long overdue leading role, completely owns this film. Her Matty's no nobly suffering heroine but rather a down to earth sex goddess temporarily stalled by life's sad realities. When cornered, the claws come out. Like Jeanne Moreau in her prime, the actress has the ability to go from dowdy to desirable in the blink of an eye, not through any make-up or tricks of the light but something far more intangible like a slight change in facial expression combined with an innate dignity that transcends her tawdry surroundings. Her giggly delight as Matty rediscovers lust, well before love, provides the movie with but one of its myriad magic moments.

Of course, Van Rompaey supplied a flawless ensemble to lighten Sarafian's load. Stellar leading men aside, lovely Anemone Valcke (making her debut) steals scenes as Matty's level-headed teen daughter who's about to drop a bombshell of her own and there are cherish-able cameos from local comedians past and present. Chubby Jits Van Belle dispenses women's magazine fueled words of wisdom as Matty's no holds barred colleague at the post office, with frequent visits by the enamored undertaker Mr Jacques (indelibly portrayed by the magnificent Bob De Moor) serving as an understated but tremendously witty running joke. A particular grace note is supplied by the casting of legendary Ghent comedienne Yvonne Delcour as an outspoken pensioner who gets one of the film's biggest laughs, immediately followed in an indicative shift of tone by one of its most insightful lines as she reminds Matty of what's really important in life, unwittingly setting up the story's resolution. As life gets in the way, you too will be rooting for Matty and Johnny to overcome what seem like insurmountable obstacles. Hey, life is but fleeting and love is all that truly matters…
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10/10
(Belgian) Damaged Goods
druid333-213 August 2009
What starts out as a standard fender bender in a car park at a super market in the town of Ghent,ends up in a chance meeting of two damaged souls. Matty,who's husband,Werner has left her for a much younger woman,and has yet to come to terms about it,backs her car into a truck, driven by Johnny,who at first verbally lashes out at her,then offers to fix her car. Things begin to happen to this mis-matched pair. Barbara Sarafian turns in a winning performance as Matty,who is bitter & cynical of all men. She works at the local post office,where she is subjected to the more sordid details of the love life of her co-worker. Matty has three children by her (failed)marriage to Werner (Peter,played by a somewhat myopic Julian Borsani...Fien,played by Sofia Ferri--a delight...and her 17 year older daughter,Vera,played by Anemone Valcke,who should have had more screen time). Johnny,played by a (at first)brutish looking Jurgen Delnael,is another example of a man who couldn't control his temper,as a result of out of control alcoholism (but has taken the pledge,and only drinks water,even at a bar),but has tried to get his life back together & takes a real fancy to Matty. Johan Hildenbergh (who absolutely shone on screen in Marlene Goris's film of 'Antonia's Line')plays Matty's swinish art teacher ex-husband, Werner,who just can't be trusted,by Matty (Werner's mobile phone goes off at always the wrong time by his live in lover,who we never see on screen,but we know she's got Werner by the short & curly's). A mixed bag of emotions (rage to tenderness)make this a tempest of a relationship,which makes for a film that varies from funny to harrowing to pathos. Check it out (if you don't mind a film that is mostly spoken in the Flemish dialect of Dutch). Not rated by the MPAA, this film contains raunchy language,nudity & adult situations.
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8/10
When Johnny met Matty, Belgian passion flew
ysbrant12 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Do not we all sometimes dream about a magic event that romantically turns our life in the ideal direction? Aanrijding in Moscou is just that: a film starting with a remarkable daily event resulting in a fully believable romantic story.

It instantly picks you up in the beginning and takes you on a road through love and life in Gent, steadily sustained by its dialect and its typical cuisine.

It shows how normal people try to live a normal live (and let's be honest: does such a thing really exist?) and how passion, emotion and our past have their influence on our lives.

I was very moved by the film and especially by a scene where Johnny and Matty have a seemingly unimportant conversation discussing and putting into place the meaning of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa".

Yes, as the glimpses of an Italian framework showed to me the greatness of this Belgian masterpiece I am absolutely sure there is something in it for EVERYONE. Sit back and be moved!
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8/10
Johnny + Matty = ?
coo-ee23 July 2010
Bogart and Bacall? No, but this couple is down-to-earth. They're immediately appealing.

I've read the previous reviews, and had to laugh at the description of the daughter's relationship being like having something strange on your plate at the restaurant, and how it's distracting. Yes, I admit, it was distracting. But it was distracting in a *good* way.

Jurgen Delnaet played Johnny, and was (according to my DVD case), "the hot young lover." Um, yeah, OK. Well, I wouldn't call him that, but he does become sexier as you get to know him, despite his obvious flaws. And Matty, played by Barbara Sarafian, never failed to fascinate me, the way her smile transformed her from sad and worn out to vibrant.

I liked this movie. The characters felt familiar despite their foreign language and environment, I cared about them, and I recommend it.
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unpretentiousness
RResende3 March 2009
You can hardly get more unpretentious than what you have here.

It's elementary clear how this is made, the devices that were used, and the effective it is and this is a good thing, in this case.

Check how the story and the mood is built right from the first scene. A minor traffic accident in a parking lot, that begins an argument. The scene starts as a piece of ordinary life, goes on as a light word-based argument, and finishes in a funny mood. Notice how every word and sentence in this argument is designed to cause an immediate impression without becoming dark or even heavy. That's the mood of the film. It lives on daily lives, it introduces deviating elements, that usually work out funny (the introduction of the lesbian theme was a great moment, among others)and with this mood evokes a sense of tenderness, what audiences may call "romance". The fact that the people who conceived this were able to synthesize this so economically and efficiently in one single scene is really impressive. This is one of the most meaningful first scenes i've seen.

I place this with 3 recent comedies that among many differences share a common sense of unpretentiousness, something that admits cinema is a piece of entertainment, that things have to be successful and effective in the eye, and through the dialogues, IN the world of the film, without meaning that the film should moralize or search for superior answers to common themes. These films i saw recently are "Juno", "Little miss Sunshine" and this one. Of the 3, this was the best, to me. It deviates from Hollywood canons even more than the other two, and that may be the reason.

It works for the performances, acting, which were surprisingly direct and grasping. I know very few or nothing about Belgian (or equivalent) acting traditions, but i am guessing (may be wrong) that this is inserted in a longer tradition of acting with fluidity, what some may consider "natural" acting. I wouldn't dare to mistake this for "real" life, as i suppose many spectators will, but this is a really well shaped cartoon world. Representation, that's what this is... the guy goes often to Italy, and speaks Italian many times, a language that in some of its golden moments in art is meant to "sound" instead of really "mean".

Some cityscapes of the small town of Moscow, Belgium, is great. There was a competent eye for the city here as well.

My opinion: 4/5

(FantasPorto 2009)

http://www.7eyes.wordpress.com
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8/10
The story of a woman
raymond-massart10 October 2009
In many ways this movie that, astonishingly enough, has received some negative reviews, is indeed yet another familiar story about a woman, in this case, Matty, a frustrated mother of three who has been abandoned by her husband for a younger girl and who not only wonders what her life has been all about but particularly what the future holds in store for her now that she has reached the age of forty-one. Her chance encounter with a random trucker as the result of a minor traffic accident signifies a turning point in her life. Johnny, the trucker, is immediately infatuated with this woman who is twelve years his senior and his amorous attempts at seducing her, slowly lead Matty to the realization that not only is she still attractive as a woman but also that deep-down her emotions are still alive. As the story develops, the viewer learns that Johnny has a past and also a drinking problem and that Matty's estranged husband is making attempts to return to his family. Matty is caught in the middle and also has to deal with the ongoing sarcastic comments made by her eldest daughter ( a convincing role excellently performed by Anemone Valcke) Matty however grows stronger and more confident mainly as a result of the animosity between the two male contenders that is often more an expression of immature childish bickering than that of two grown-up males. She encounters more obstacles on the complicated road to self-realization but when in the final scene, we see her walking next to a rail road track and in a flash we are reminded of the vague thoughts she once expressed of ending her life under a train, we are quickly reassured by her convincing smile that although she cannot predict the future, at present, all is well. Barbara Sarafian's portrayal of Matty is excellent.Matty is a real woman but above all a (feminine) person: she worries about her age, her looks, her responsibilities, her future and her alternating feelings of hope and despair are wonderfully reflected in her appearance: at times she radiates real beauty while at others she's just another plain Jane.The men in her life are basically very weak:due to his own feelings of insecurity her husband is very dependent on her and burdens her with responsibilities he dare not (cannot?) take himself while her lover is somewhat too young and playful to be convincingly assertive. Jurgen Delnaet who plays Johnny succeeds brilliantly in portraying the rugged trucker in search of a strong woman who will guide him on his way and Johan Heldenbergh as the husband who's experiencing a mid-life crisis is very convincing. The dialog is natural and the acting of the whole cast, superb. A worthy contribution to modern Flemish film making.
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7/10
It started with a ...fender bender!
Coventry4 March 2012
I don't usually write comments for any genres other than horror and cult movies, and definitely not for romantic comedies, but I gladly want to make an exception for this original and totally refreshing "feel-good" flick from my beloved home country Belgium. The film is an excellent effort, with spontaneous and identifiable characters, recognizable situations, genuine laughs and natural performances. There's a whole lot of typical stuff that only Flemish people will fully comprehend, like the excessive use of regional dialects for example, but the film can nevertheless appeal to international audiences due to the innovative twist on the usual romantic comedy formula and the unpretentious atmosphere throughout. The story takes place in the rather unusually named community Moscou; very near to the beautiful city of Ghent in Belgium. Matty, a 41-year-old mother of three children, is a sad and pitiably looking wreck ever since her husband left his family for an affair with a young student. It's been more than five months now and Matty still hopes that it's just a temporary fling and everything will get back to normal. When she has a banal little collision with a truck on the parking of a supermarket, she freaks out and loudly yells at the much younger truck driver. Since then, Johnny the robust and macho truck driver purchases the middle-aged woman and tries hard to seduce her. Matty, although in conflict with her persona and common sense, eventually falls for Johnny's playful charms … But then her husband chooses to return home. One of the several strengths of "Moscow, Belgium" (literally the title translates as "Collision in Moscow") are the everyday personalities of the characters. They're genuinely real people, with certain qualities but even more weaknesses, and react exactly like anyone else would react in particular situations. It's also fascinating how this type of story is something that can take place right next to your doorstep, so to speak. It's a film without explosions, car chases or spectacular stunts… just an absorbing story about people and the feelings they would rather oppress than enjoy. And it's funny! "Moscow, Belgium" isn't overly vulgar or absurd, like too many other nowadays comedies are, but the gags are always nicely timed and effective. Barbara Sarafian, ever since the release of this film an enormously popular actress in Belgium, gives a truly stellar performance as the emotionally troubled woman and she forms a terrific – albeit deviating – on screen couple with Jurgen Delnaet. There are also splendid supportive roles for Johan Heldenbergh as the rather despicable husband and Anemone Valcke as the rebellious teenage daughter.

Funniest dialogue of the entire film: daughter (upon hearing her mother spent the night with the trucker): "Mom, he's like twelve years younger than you are!" Mother (with a naughty grin still on her face): "Yeah … I felt that!"
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8/10
Collision
jotix10012 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As Matty is backing her car out of her parking spot of a supermarket, she hears the ominous sign of a collision. A big truck driven by Johnny, has come in her way, damaging her trunk's door. No serious damage was inflicted on the truck. Matty, furiously maintains Johnny is the culprit by hitting her, he, on the other hand, feels it is her fault by not looking where she was going. The two start a shouting match that clearly does not go anywhere until the police arrive to seize the situation. Johnny, evidently, is well known to the cops.

To her complete surprise, Matty watches the following morning the arrival of Johnny from her balcony. He has come armed with tools to repair the damage. She is furious, Matty did not expect this, nor did she call him. Johnny fixes the damage so it can close properly. Matty is somewhat flattered about Johnny's good intentions for making good out of their terrible ordeal. Matty offers lunch to Johnny. Matty has three children. Vera, a teen ager, Fien, a girl of about twelve, and Peter, who is the younger.

Matty is separated from Werner, her husband, a music teacher who left her for a younger woman. Werner and Matty have remained in somewhat civil terms. She works at a post office branch, a boring job which helps her support her family, since there is no indication Werner contributes much to his children. The arrival of Johnny proves to be a godsend for Matty, who suddenly sees in Johnny a man that shows some interest in her, even though she is about ten years older than him.

Johnny, who travels to Italy quite often, loves romance. Finding a kind soul in Matty, he falls deeply for her. Matty, who is at first reluctant to give in, is charmed by the good natured Johnny. What Matty does not know is the fact that Johnny had problems with the law because his heavy drinking and fighting, something he declares he has left behind. Now sober, he realizes this is the opportunity to get on with his life. Matty has other problems to deal with, but she too has fallen in love with the man.

A romantic comedy from Belgium was a surprise when it turned up on a cable channel recently. Directed by Christophe Van Rompaey, the film rings true because one can identify with the people in the story. Matty is an earthy no-nonsense woman who has been abandoned by a man that did not deserve her. She accept her daughter Vera's coming out as a lesbian without hysterics. The arrival of Johnny into her boring life awakens her from her resignation to go it alone. Johnny is charmed by a woman who can tell him off without getting upset about it.

The film works because of the wonderful performances of the two principals. Barbara Sarafian is a welcome presence in any film she graces with her presence. She is reluctant to acknowledge the happiness that falls into her lap, Jurgen Delnaet matches his co-star in surprising ways. Both make their characters credible.
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8/10
.. surprise movies are what it's all about
bjarias2 November 2014
We learn about them and are slowly drawn into caring about these individuals.. for that alone it's a terrific little film. It just has so many wonderful scenes, and there are several fine performances, coming from actors you in all probability have never seen or heard of before. Barbara Sarafian.. bit.ly/16qn7oL .. is of special note... she is from start to finish superb. Read a great line about her performance in the film.. "Sarafian is acting every second she's on screen, yet you never catch her at it." As for the two lead characters.. do they 'make it' and ultimately stay together.. who knows, but they have given us allot of enjoyment just in meeting up. Watch it.. you will enjoy it.
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8/10
A movie about getting your life back together
ComedyFan201020 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Both Matty and Johnny have been hurt by love. She is a 41 year old mother whose husband while going through midlife crisis leaves her for his 22 year old student and still can't decide who he wants to stay with. Johnny's big love in life couldn't live with him going to work trips and cheated on him. They both are angry with the situation. And when they collide at a parking their anger comes out.

But it also connects them and they slowly develop a relationship as they get to know each other.

The movie is a romantic comedy. But not a typical one as we see made in Hollywood. It is about working class people who don't look like models. When we first see them, they don't seem that attractive. But the more we get to know them the more attractive they become. We get to love them with all their imperfections and wish them all the best. The movie also doesn't go into a stereotypical happy ending. The ending is actually more ambiguous. We don't now if Matty and Johnny will have a long happily ever after relationship. And yet it leaves us happy. The movie seems more to be about the transformation of Matty. At first we see her walking through the supermarket, all down with fuzzy hair. She is depressed and wants her husband who treated her as he did to come back. At the end she is walking through the street, fresh and with her head high and happy. She doesn't want Werner back. She doesn't need him, she got her life back.

Very good acting as well by all of the actors, including the children. Vera is greatly done, not a typical movie teenager who is a pain in life, but an interesting, thoughtful young adolescent.
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8/10
A salty rom-com
thecatcanwait20 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
At first a seemingly drab film from drab Belgium. About a drab ordinary housewife living a drab everyday life. And then ginger Johnny – the bastard – comes along.

He's bonked her in the boot with his big yellow truck. They curse one another. Then he smiles. Soon after he's ringing to offer to fix the boot. She invites him up for some burnt bloodwurst (sausage) (some very poor cuisine is going on in this film. I thought it was only us English who were supposed to cook rubbish food?!) They're off on a date. She drinks one glass of wine then wants to go. Viking Johnny is bonking her up in his big truck. "It was just this once" she says smiling. Then she finds out from twerpy arty flop-haired husband (who's left to go shack up with a student) that Johnnys an alcoholic, been to jail for beating up his ex-wife.

"I used you. Finito" she's saying. And yet she's being surprising sympathetic. Maybe she needs bad boy Johnny to recover her life (by rescuing him, that sorry schtick) Rom-coms have to come with big wallops of cynicism to be real enough to touch me. I like my love two thirds bitter to one third sweet. And while you're at it lets rub some salty sarcasm into any syrupy sentimentality that might be wallowing around. Matty is good at that. "You have to put mustard on everything. So you don't taste or feel anything" he's said to her. "You're talking drivel" she says. I like her. Like the actress who's playing her (Barbara Sarafian) She's attractive in an ordinary kind of way. Even when she's looking dreary something desirable occasionally flickers across her face from somewhere deep within.

This film is getting to feel just about right enough for real life. The screenplay is immediate, the acting actual-to-life plausible; so engaging in fact you don't know you're reading subtitles anymore. I was believing in it.

Matty and Johnny continue to throw little barbs of dry irony at one another. Humour is understated, not forced, appropriate to scene and situation. None of the characters play-act for laughs (from us, the audience) It's probably being even funnier in Flemish (if you spoke Flemish that is) Who's she gonna choose to be with? Is it flaky hubbie or fiery Johnny? Or would she be better off with neither of them? There's no "happy ever after" wrap up, but the ending is quite a few beats up from where the downbeat beginning had been. The dowdy old housewife is bouncing back home, her hair let loose and flying, a fresh sparkle returned to her eye.

It seems Matty might have got her mojo back.
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great movie !
ronald-rens23 November 2011
This is simply a great story. It's a romcom, but here you won't find the usual affluent American suburbia, but a working girl who looks a bit sloppy and has kids she can barely keep in line ( does this look familiar, anyone ? ). She lives in a modest apartment, holds a modest job and her marriage has gone to the dogs with a husband who moved in with a younger woman. She meets a trucker, who has also marital problems, and the story develops from there. Those who do not understand Flemish, and in particular the local dialect, are at a disadvantage as some replies can only be appreciated if you understand the dialect. This hold true for other comedy films and/or series ( ex. "Only Fools and Horses" loses much of it's charm if you don't understand Cockney ). I would put this movie on a par with, say, Sleepless in Seattle or some Danny deVito movies. I've read a rather negative review in these pages, but with the same reasoning I could argue that, were I an American, I would be ashamed of the Godfather-trilogy as it could be construed as a hagiography of the Maffia ( it's not, it's perhaps the best movie of all time ). So : go out and buy this DVD ! And if you can't then steal it.
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2/10
Gay Agenda Sinks Inde Film
vitaleralphlouis13 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Moscow, Belgium starts out as an earnest and entertaining romance about a 41 year old mother of three and a 29 year old truck driver. So very much of the film is new, fresh, and funny. Too bad that it's sunk in the final 30 minutes by a false and intrusive theme about the oldest daughter suddenly being lesbian.

This was obvious sucker-bait aimed at the liberal reviewers who usually give automatic positive reviews to any gay-themed film. Need one name names?

Just as a cigarette butt or roach intrudes on a dinner plate, spoiling the remainder of the dinner, but also spoiling the portion already consumed, this amounts to a rude and shallow intrusion on the viewer's goodwill. When the mother gets the news that her daughter's boyfriend is "Iris" this very emotional woman responds not-at-all. Upon meeting Iris, we find, of course, that Iris is the nicest and most noble lesbian you'd ever want to meet -- planning a career of counseling terminally ill patients. There's more: The mother would never have let "a boy" sleep with her 16 year old daughter in their apartment, but since Iris is gay, her sleep-over is just fine.

People are free to accept or reject Brokeback Mountain et cetera. That's fine, since they're up front about the gay theme. But when they take care to conceal it till you buy your ticket; well that's just not nice.
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2/10
Tiresome tale done at Soviet production quality
globeyo19 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This tiresome tale of unattractive non-characters in dreary event-less setting left me hoping for a swift end to the film. But it kept droning on, um, coughing-on, in Flemish for what seemed an eternity. The deathless euro-piano/accordion score fills in the gaps -- and there are many -- between non-story, inane dialog, and truly unwanted nudity.

The technical quality of the filming mirrors the writing and acting. Dull, faded colors that might be intended to suggest Soviet-era VHS video -- or just a very low budget. Why any man would be attracted to the dour unappealing female lead is as inexplicable as why anyone would be interested in this film.
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1/10
Complete utter rubbish
omgheisretartedlol21 August 2009
The title says it all. As a Belgian myself I'm ashamed Belgium's movies always end up like this piece of horrible poo. There have been very good Belgian movies "De zaak van Alzheimer" 'De hel van tanger". But this .. this .. arrgghh. Thanks for another humiliation for Belgium. This rubbish has no boundaries. and it's supposed to be funny at times don't make me cry. Only watch this movie if you are Deaf , Blind , Retarted. Or have plans for mass suicide bombings. For starters the acting is horrible and the story is horrible. Whatever they wanted to show us it's blinded by the silliness of this movie.

I cannot warn you enough.

0/10
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