Synopsis: Lorna, (Arta Dobroshi), a young Albanian woman living in Belgium, has her sights set on opening a snack bar with her boyfriend, Sokol (Alban Ukaj). In order to do so, she becomes an accomplice in a diabolical plan devised by mobster Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione). Fabio has set up a false marriage between Lorna and Claudy (Jérémie Renier) allowing Lorna to get her Belgian citizenship. However, she is then asked to marry a Russian mafioso who's ready to pay hard cash to also get his hands on those vital Belgian identity papers. Fabio intends to kill Claudy in order to speed up the second marriage. But will Lorna remain silent? [Synopsis courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics]
Round-up: "'Lorna’s Silence' is engrossing and powerful, which may be just another way of saying it’s a film by the Dardenne brothers," writes the New York Times' A.O. Scott. "If it falls a bit short of the stan... dards of their best work, that is only because it is not quite a masterpiece." Indeed, in their reviews critics have largely focused on how "Lorna's Silence" fits into the rest of the Dardenne brothers' esteemed canon. The Village Voice's Nick Pinkerton expounds: "Like its predecessors, 'Lorna's Silence' concerns decency stubbornly blooming in blasted soil, documented by DP Alain Marcoen's close-quarters shooting, dogging a protagonist like a guilty conscience. Silence is a tentative departure, dropping the scales from Lorna's eyes midway, letting us watch her newborn soul confront the wicked world. This more complex and more muddled film taxed the Dardennes' infallibility with Euro critics. Outside the chartered property lines of their perfection, the Dardennes are unsteady. The convoluted criminal plot is barely credible—likewise the onset of divine madness; a fairy-tale cabin (or is it a manger?) is an unsatisfying end. Though for one never fully converted, any experiment is heartening." Sam Adams writes for the A.V. Club: "The Dardennes tend to make only incremental adjustments between films— shifting the scene 10 kilometers from their traditional Seraing to the industrial city of Liège counts as a major alteration—and to an extent, 'Lorna’s Silence' feels like a refinement, even a repetition, of earlier themes. But the brothers are repeating themselves at such a high level that the redundancies are more than welcome." Arta Dobroshi's performance receives high praise from the New York Post's V.A. Musetto who calls her "riveting" and writes: "The androgynous Dobroshi is in nearly every scene. She has an exceptional screen presence that brings authority to her portrayal of a woman seeking redemption." Meanwhile, Glenn Kenny is similarly enthusiastic. He blogs: "Dobroshi's sheer presence goes beyond charisma, beyond the 'exemplary quietude' I cited when I first saw the film, and into sheer grace. Her work as Lorna is one of the most galvanic female performances I've seen in a European film in years, comparable to Irene Jacob's performance in 'The Double Life of Veronique.'"