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Belgium’s Best Foreign Oscar Pick Is ‘The Ardennes,’ Not the Dardennes

Belgium has submitted Robin Pront's first film, robbery thriller "The Ardennes," as its official Oscar entry.

“The Ardennes”

Yet again, Belgium has passed over the latest film from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, “The Unknown Girl,” which played in competition at Cannes and will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Instead, Belgium is submitting rookie director Robin Pront’s “The Ardennes,” a robbery-gone-wrong thriller that debuted at last year’s TIFF in the Discovery program and has been nominated for 10 Ensor Awards (September 16). It also made the shortlist for the European Film Awards.

The last Dardenne brothers film to be submitted by Belgium, “Two Days, One Night,” was not nominated (although Marion Cotillard did earn a Best Actress nomination); nor were submissions “Rosetta,” “The Son,” or “The Child.” (Many believe that if Belgium had selected the Dardennes’ more accessible Golden-Globe-nominated “Kid with a Bike,” it would have landed a final-five slot.)

In “The Ardennes,” a brutal robbery goes wrong. One of two thieves escapes, leaving his brother behind. Four years later, when he is released from prison, the world has changed and his brother has gone straight. Starring Veerle Baetens (Oscar-nominated “The Broken Circle Breakdown”), Jeroen Perceval (Oscar-nominated “Bullhead”), and Kevin Janssens, “The Ardennes”  is produced by Savage Film’s Bart Van Langendonck, who produced “Bullhead” with Michaël R. Roskam, who is associate producer.

“The Ardennes” will be released stateside this fall by Film Movement.

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