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CRITIC'S PICK

'Moscow, Belgium'

March 05, 2009|Betsy Sharkey

If you're in the mood for an offbeat love story and subtitles suit you just fine, take a side trip to "Moscow, Belgium," where a 41-year-old worn mother of three bumps into a 29-year-old trucker, literally, and romance somehow blooms among the insults and recriminations they hurl at each other before the police arrive to sort things out. There is nothing about Matty and Johnny that should work in Christophe Van Rompaey's clever new film. Still counting the days since her art teacher-husband left her for one of his students, Barbara Sarafian's Matty wears frustration and bitterness as carelessly as the sweater she's thrown 'round her shoulders. Johnny (Jurgen Delnaet) has not yet recovered from finding his wife, now ex-wife, in bed with the attorney who would later put him in jail. And his mother still washes his shirts. But somehow they stumble their way past all of that. There are ups and downs, a teenage daughter rebels, the husband decides to return and tough choices must be made. It shouldn't work -- but that doesn't stop us from hoping.

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-- Betsy Sharkey

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