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Lorna’s Silence

Released: 2008

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 1 hr 45 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Starring: Arta Dobroshi, Jeremie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Alban Ukaj, Morgan Marinne, Olivier Gourmet

Dardenne Brothers tale about a sham marriage.

Remarkably little to keep your attention.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 7 years ago

Lorna (Arta Dobroshi) faces a problem that few wives complain about. Her husband Claudy (Jeremie Renier) refuses to beat her, even when she begs him to do it. Lorna's pleading to her husband for violent action turns out to be an act of kindness to him.

In LORNA'S SILENCE (LE SILENCE DE LORNA), by brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (THE CHILD), this request for spousal abuse makes sense, since the story is about a marriage scam. A criminal named Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione) hired Lorna, an Albanian, to marry Claudy, a Belgian, so that she could become a legal citizen of Belgium. This was done so that Fabio could obtain a bride for a wealthy Russian who wants to become Belgian.

Of course, before Lorna can marry the Russian, she must first get out of her marriage to Claudy. A heroin junkie who keeps trying to kick his habit, Claudy married Lorna in the first place as a way to make money since Fabio paid him. Out of compassion, Lorna would like a quick divorce, hence the fake spousal abuse claim, rather than Fabio's preferred way for her marriage to end. He had chosen Claudy because he was a junkie and therefore likely to O.D. soon.

Once you understand the outline of the story, there is remarkably little to keep your attention, except for the outstanding acting by Dobroshi in the lead role. She is completely believable.

A subplot concerns a snack shop that Lorna and her boyfriend Sokol (Alban Ukaj) want to purchase with the money she plans on making from the marriage scam. But it, like the rest of the narrative, is padded with way too many scenes of little consequence.

Slow and plodding, the movie still manages to keep you interested in where it is headed. The ending, however, is completely unresolved and borderline bizarre.

LORNA'S SILENCE runs 1:45. The film is in French and Albanian with English subtitles. It is rated R for "brief sexuality/nudity, and language" and would be acceptable for teenagers.