Pauline and Paulette | Chicago Reader

Pauline and Paulette

This modestly colorful, highly enjoyable Belgian film by Lieven Debrauwer builds on good performances and a delicate interplay of types and stereotypes as it traces the unfolding relationship among four sisters. Paulette is a flamboyant shopkeeper and amateur opera singer who struggles with the unwanted adoration of her sweetly dim and endlessly pesky sister Pauline; after their sister Martha dies, her will bequeaths substantial assets to either Paulette or the youngest sister, Cecile, whichever will assume for life the burden of caring for Pauline. With its simplistic premise that the childlike goodness of a retarded character has the power to transform others, this might easily have become mawkish; instead it has a light comic edge and a dignity built on the fine characterization of Pauline. In Dutch with subtitles. 78 min.

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