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Askew Review 15

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. DVD. Belgium. 2002. Drama. Approx 80 minutes. Rated PG. Flemish with English subtitles. After her caretaker sister suddenly dies, mentally-challenged 66 year-old Pauline goes to live with her other sister Paulette, who she greatly admires. Instantly disrupting Paulette’s work and personal life, Pauline is sent packing to Brussels to live with their big city sister Cecile and her butt monkey boyfriend. However, living in Brussels doesn’t work out and Pauline finds her way back to Paulette. Troubled at first by Cecile’s inability and non-interest in caring for Pauline, Paulette realizes feelings she’s never felt before and tries her best to make things work.
Pauline & Paulette is a very sweet story, albeit it in a rather dark way, while being a bit troubling as well. The sweetness oozes mostly from Pauline and her child like, playful demeanor and her ability to get joy out of the smallest things; colorful paper, toast with jelly, and just being close to Paulette. The troubling part is witnessing how hard it can be when people are suddenly forced to care for a “less fortunate” sibling and knowing this happens every day in real life. It has to be hard. Hollywood drones may have a hard time watching two 60+ year old women playing the lead roles, but Dora van der Groen (reminds me of my eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Glennon) shines as Pauline and Ann Petersen (reminds me of Rosemary Clooney) does a great job playing Paulette. The DVD includes commentary by Director Lieven Debrauwer and trailers. Guys, this is a good one to watch with the woman to score points on the “how in touch are you with your emotions” scale. – Denis Sheehan



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