Since seeing it almost exactly a year ago, I’ve devoted a lot of column inches to Belgian director Joachim Lafosse’s magnificent domestic drama “Our Children.” A jolting worst-case study, inspired by actual events, of a young mother driven to the brink by a combination of postpartum depression and an excess of male authority figures, it wound up at #7 on my list of 2012’s best films and continues to eat away at me.
The film was released in the UK earlier this year, but US distributors Distrib Films have bided their time, settling on release date of August 2 in New York, and August 9 in Los Angeles and beyond. It’s worth the wait. This week, they unveiled a new trailer that does a good job of expressing the film’s cumulative, claustrophobic power, without giving too much away. It also holds back on the most sensational moments of Emilie Dequenne’s staggering lead turn, which won her a richly deserved Best Actress award in last year’s Un Certain Regard strand at Cannes.
I’ve written before that Dequenne’s performance is as award-worthy as any you’re likely to see this year — it would take a miracle for the necessary voters to see that for themselves, though the ever-eccentric Satellite Awards did hand Dequenne a nomination last year, despite the film still being unreleased. There’s sensitive support from Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup, reunited from “A Prophet” in a very different scenario, though they wisely cede the spotlight to their female co-star’s crushing tour de force — as does Lafosse’s measured, mature direction.
You may recall that the film was last year’s Belgian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar; it didn’t make the pre-nomination shortlist, which means it’s eligible for consideration in other categories this year. We can but dream. Check out the trailer below, and share your thoughts in the comments.