6 December 2012 4:36 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Kauwboy,” the Netherlands’ official Oscar entry and recent winner of the European Film Awards Fipresci prize, finds similarity in another 2012 Foreign-Language submission, Ursula Meier’s “Sister,” and last year’s enigmatic Cannes Grand Jury winner from the Dardenne brothers, “Kid with a Bike.” Each film centers on a neglected boy, with a sensitive eye to the fundamentally loving yet insufficiently responsible adults around him. All three films are anchored by striking performances from their young leads. Thomas Doret and Kacey Mottet Klein in “Kid with a Bike” and “Sister,” respectively, show a naturalism and lack of self-consciousness that many adult actors would envy. Rick Lens in “Kauwboy” is equally fine. Lens plays Jojo, a mop-haired pre-adolescent living with his father in a green Dutch suburb.  We know that Jojo is at home by himself often, with his burly, taciturn father coming »


- Beth Hanna

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