Lorna’s Silence

Rated 4.0

In a bottomed-out Belgian factory town, an Albanian immigrant (Arta Dobroshi) gets embroiled with low-level mobsters in order to acquire citizenship and open a restaurant with her far-flung boyfriend (Alban Ukaj). That means a temporary green-card marriage to a dope-sick heroin addict (Jérémie Renier), whose naked need just happens to awaken her conscience. But as her contact (Fabrizio Rongione) ominously informs her, “The cops look into divorces. You need to be a widow.” Written and directed by brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne with their usual ascetic, urgent naturalism, Lorna’s Silence plays its survival-mode melodrama very straight, with empathy and without pity. It’s character-driven suspense thriller as framework for socioeconomic allegory, grounded by choice specific details of its gritty milieu and by Dobroshi’s somehow both impassive and inviting face.