Sokol and Lorna, two Albanian emigrants in Belgium, dream of leaving their dreary jobs to set up a snack bar. They need money, and a permanent resident status. Claudy is a junkie - he needs... See full summary »
Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit illegal aliens. When one of the aliens is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.
Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
Young, unmarried couple Sonia and Bruno have just had a son, who Sonia names Jimmy. Bruno, who did not visit her while she was in the hospital, scoffs at the notion of what he considers traditional employment, instead eking out a living primarily on petty crimes committed with his fourteen year old associate, Steve. He even sublets Sonia's small apartment while she is in the hospital, he sleeping either in the homeless shelter or squatting in what he calls his "shack" down by the river. On the day after Sonia gets out of the hospital, she allows Bruno to take Jimmy for a walk while she stands in line for her benefits. On that walk, Bruno makes the unilateral decision to sell Jimmy to a black market adoption agency. Upon finding out what Bruno has done, Sonia has a breakdown and falls unconscious. Fearing that Sonia will turn him over to the police when she regains consciousness, Bruno tries to get Jimmy back while he leaves Sonia in the hospital in her unconscious state. But Bruno ... Written by
Although I have not seen all other Cannes' comp. films, I think this is a worthy winner of the Palm d'or. The film's scenery is gray Seraing, like the previous Dardenne films, and I think this is the first film in which the camera-work complements the scenery and story near perfectly. Scene's often contain only one or two shots, cutting right when everything has been said. Its one of the few films where I did not notice the camera (I'm a student cameraman), which should be the goal of every cameraman, at least in this style of film. The acting is very impressive (especially Jeremie Renier as Bruno), like previous Dardenne Films. The film seems the most accessible Dardenne so far, although it does not bore in simplicity (I saw it twice in one week, avant-premiere and sneak preview, and I liked the second time best).
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