Lorna's Silence ★★★½

A few months ago, I watched my first movie by the Dardenne Brothers, Rosetta, and responded positively but with some reservations. I reacted in a similar fashion to Lorna's Silence.

It tells the story of Lorna, an Albanian immigrant in Belgium who is close to earning Belgian citizenship -- and she seems to have big plans for her future once that roadblock is out of the way. However, Lorna's situation is complicated in ways that not even her headstrong optimism can easily overcome. As in Rosetta, the Dardennes present life as both tough and cheap.

I love the Dardennes' style, and they get strong naturalistic performances out of their actors. Arta Dobroshi is great as Lorna. I also like the way that they slowly reveal more information, subtly changing the context in which events are processed. Their skill is undeniable and I look forward to seeing more and more from them.

With Rosetta, I was invested but felt like some of that movie's events were unearned, which held me back from complete engagement. Lorna's Silence is not problematic in the same way, but also didn't grip me as strongly. I didn't feel for Lorna the way I did for Rosetta -- or, for Lilya in Lilya 4 Ever, which has similarities -- but I thought that her story was fascinating and worthwhile.

Rosetta has grown on me in the months since watching it, so Lorna's Silence may, as well.