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The NY Times praises Veerle Baetens for Broken Circle Breakdown role


The way Veerle Baetens impersonates Elise, one of the protagonists in Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown, has earned her praise from leading US newspaper The New York Times. Film critic Logan Hill describes Baetens’ work as one the standout performances of the holiday film season.

Entitled ‘Star Turns Amid a Winter Flurry – Jared Leto, Veerle Baetens and Other Standout Performances’ the article appears simultaneous with the American release of Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown in New York theatres. According to The New York Times journalist Logan Hill, Baetens’ role is one of four noteworthy performances to look forward to this season. Other laureates are Jared Leto for his appearance in Dallas Buyers Club, Oscaar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis and Tiger Chen in Man of Tai Chi.

Hill describes how Veerle Baetens ‘never less than bristles with intensity, as if the tattoos that cover her skin are not just rendered in ink but filigreed with raw nerves’. He’s also impressed by the chemistry between the actress and the male lead played by Johan Heldenbergh. ‘Their chemistry ranges from passionate physicality and aching tenderness, to dumbstruck grief and reckless cruelty.’

It’s not the first time the acting performances in Felix van Groeningen’s fourth feature film draws worldwide attention. The film was presented with the award for Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, while other international media have also shown themselves advocates of the film. The Telegraph’s Tim Robey talks about ‘two of the most moving performances of the year’, while Yahoo Movies draws a parallel with Walk The Line and Blue Valentine.

Baetens's star is rising, with local success in Jan Verheyen’s courtroom drama The Verdict, as well as recognition from abroad earning her the modest, but impressing role of merciless Margaret of Anjou in the BBC’s drama series The White Queen. Baetens can currently be found on the set of international police series The Team, coproduced for Flanders by Lunanime, starring opposite The Killing-star Lars Mikkelsen.

The Broken Circle Breakdown started its American tour in New York theatres on November 1 and will also open this month in other major cities as Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle among others. US rights are handled by Tribeca Film.