Steve + Sky

Writer-director Felix Van Groeningen's stylish but shallow story of love among the bottom-feeders is set in and around Antwerp's seedy outskirts. Steve (Titus De Voogdt) is a minor-league drug-dealer whose tough-guy pose convinces no one that he's anything but a scrawny grifter. Lanky, white-blonde, chain-smoking Sky (Delfine Bafort) is utterly stunning...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Writer-director Felix Van Groeningen's stylish but shallow story of love among the bottom-feeders is set in and around Antwerp's seedy outskirts. Steve (Titus De Voogdt) is a minor-league drug-dealer whose tough-guy pose convinces no one that he's anything but a scrawny grifter. Lanky, white-blonde, chain-smoking Sky (Delfine Bafort) is utterly stunning and goofily obsessive-compulsive; she never, ever has a light. Sky worked as a prostitute to pay for her junkie boyfriend Marc's (Jonas Boel) therapy and legal fees until he beat her up, and now she works in a factory. Steve's and Sky's paths cross first in a bowling alley, where she impulsively feigns an epileptic fit and breaks her arm, then at the home of paralyzed former night-club bouncer Jean-Claude (Johan Heldenbergh), whom Steve knows from jail and Sky has known since she was a child — he and her mother had a fling. Sky befriends Jean-Claude's plump, sullen teenage daughter, Charlotte (Romy Bollion), and counsels her about relationships. Jean-Claude teaches Steve how to steal motorbikes and hires Sky to strip in his club. The cast that stretches halfway to her shoulder? Not a problem — it just adds to her oddball sex appeal. Steve and Sky fall in some sort of love, punctuated by pointless squabbles and disaffected sex. Though undeniably gorgeous, there's considerably less to Van Groeningen's film than meets the eye. Stripped of the herky-jerky scrambled chronology and narrative digressions, it's all trendy nihilism and neon-washed grime driven by the mesmerizing pulse of Sky's favorite song, '80s Belgian synth-pop band Nacht und Nebel's "Beats of Love." Bafort, however, is a star in the old-fashioned sense of the word — she's so electrifying that when she's on screen, everything else fades away. (In Dutch, with English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Writer-director Felix Van Groeningen's stylish but shallow story of love among the bottom-feeders is set in and around Antwerp's seedy outskirts. Steve (Titus De Voogdt) is a minor-league drug-dealer whose tough-guy pose convinces no one that he's anything… (more)

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