Pauline & Paulette (2002)



Critic Consensus: Pauline and Paulette is a gently poignant, compassionate tale.

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Movie Info

Pauline is mentally handicapped, and when one of her sisters dies, she is left on her own. She is taken in by another sister, Paulette, as a temporary measure, but as time goes on, Paulette's attitudes change and the sisters become closer.
PG (for brief language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Ann Petersen
as Paulette
Camilia Blereau
as The Butcher's Wife
Nand Buyl
as Notary
Magda Cnudde
as Marie Jose
Jef Demedts
as Funeral Director
Jenny Tanghe
as Marcella
Bouli Lanners
as Taxi Driver
Rita Maddens
as Prompter
François Beukelaers
as Director of the Home
Michael Bauwens
as Stage Director
Koen Crucke
as Count
Freddie Shermann
as Waitress in Tea Room
Jocelyne Verdier
as Client in Tea Room
Kiki De Paepe
as Girls in Shoeshop
Luc Nuyens
as Frank
Ingrid De Vos
as Lady in Institution
Machteld Ramoudt
as Lady in Institution
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Critic Reviews for Pauline & Paulette

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (18)

The film's plainness, and the understated force of van der Groen and Petersen's performances, sharpen its complexity of feeling until all mawkishness is cut away.

Full Review… | August 12, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A moving tale of love and destruction in unexpected places, unexamined lives.

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

It's rare to find a film to which the adjective 'gentle' applies, but the word perfectly describes Pauline & Paulette.

May 10, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The acting in Pauline And Paulette is good all round, but what really sets the film apart is Debrauwer's refusal to push the easy emotional buttons.

Full Review… | May 3, 2002
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Although there's nothing profound about Pauline and Paulette, it does have a few memorably sly digs at the kinds of things we believe to be profound.

Full Review… | May 3, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Simple, poignant and leavened with humor, it's a film that affirms the nourishing aspects of love and companionship.

May 2, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pauline & Paulette

A wonderfully sweet and simple film, sentimental but never sappy. I found it completely absorbing thanks to outstanding performances and great art direction, I especially loved the use of colour. I have not come across a film that portrays someone that is mentally challenged (and their caregiver,) in a way that felt this authentic.

Laura Cameron
Laura Cameron

Super Reviewer


Endearing little film about an elderly amatuer opera diva who begrudgingly takes in her adoring mentally handicapped sister in order to fulfill her late sister's will, is the very definition of gentle. Simple yet magical, this beautifully rendered and sublimely acted Belgian confection is a feel good movie of the highest order. Simply wonderful.

Matthew Lucas
Matthew Lucas

Super Reviewer

I rented this on a whim one day and totally fell in love with it. My favorite scene is when Pauline is watering her sister's garden with a HUGE watering can.

Ingrid Walker
Ingrid Walker

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