****/**** Image A- Sound A- Extras B
starring Émilie Dequenne, Fabrizio Rongione, Olivier Gourmet, Anne Yernaux
written and directed by Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne
by Bryant Frazer If there were any doubt that the Dardennes discovered what would be their lasting aesthetic with La promesse, it was dispelled in the opening moments of Rosetta. The earlier film spent a lot of time following characters around, hovering behind them as they made their way through their world. As Rosetta begins, we're again in close to a character, but this time we have a velocity: The girl, Rosetta (Emilie Dequenne), is storming from room to room in some kind of industrial facility, and the Dardennes' camera is following her at speed. This isn't a virtuoso tracking shot out of Scorsese or P.T. Anderson, though; Rosetta isn't accommodating the camera. When she exits a room, she slams the door behind her and the camera is caught up short, forcing an edit. When she erupts onto a factory floor, she ducks underneath the machinery, making her own passageways where the camera cannot go, and again forcing a cut. We are not welcome to follow.