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.
Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
At about 11, the stubborn and impulsive Cyril seems on his way to delinquency: he has no mother, his father wants a new life without him, so he's in a foster institution. He searches for his father, wanting him and his bike. Through the intersession of Samantha, a hairdresser Cyril happens upon, he gets his bike back, and she offers to take him into her home on weekends. He remains aloof from her and gets involved with a young crook. Is Cyril intent on driving Samantha away - and what then? Written by
The script was structured with a fairytale in mind, where the boy would lose his illusions and Samantha would appear as a fairy-like figure. See more »
After meeting Cyril's dad at the restaurant, Samantha and Cyril get in a car with horizontal AC vents. They get out of the car to meet him again. This time they get back in a car with AC vents circular in shape. See more »
Love & Affection breaking the (bi)cycle of Violence & Despair
A beautiful film. One that pulls you in by the honest and genuine storytelling told in the Dardenne brothers' trademark naturalistic and guileless tone that is refreshing and sorely missed in today's too often rambunctious style of movies.
The story is simple and organic, the kid initially breaking out of foster care to find his father, and his bike both of which give him some identity and purpose in the world. He befriends several characters along the way (and in the Dardennes films, the characters are few, but all play vital roles) including the benevolent Samantha (whom I thought was very sweet but perhaps too pretty - and talented - to play a working- class hairdresser). Some characters are good (Samantha), some not so (Wes) and some have their own agendas to make a living.
In this way, the film is not unlike (and I quote the Dardennes) a fairytale - the boy (hero) on quest in the wide world which various characters and dangers lurking, yet set in this ultra realistic (read social-realist) setting.
The style of film-making here is pure and simple in that social-realist style, simply presenting characters who live on the fringe of society; who live in poor social economic conditions or don't have the opportunity of good schooling or the genuine love of a mother or father. As a result it is perhaps a little easier to understand why Cyril acts the way he does, rebelling against society, trying to find his place in the world. As you watch perhaps keep in mind what you might do to make ends meet.
The kid is astounding in a first-time performance, he conveys so much frustration, anger, pathos, regret with just glances and looks, most of the screen time without dialogue. Just watch the sequences when he is cycling on his bike, utterly free, chasing (or escaping) his life as the master of his own destiny.
This is a very simple & heartfelt tale, it tells the story as it is with no artifice, shot in the gorgeous dappled sunlight of a Belgian summer. It is not as hard-hitting and gritty as other of the Dardennes' films, such as emotional sledgehammers like Rosetta, Le Fils & L'Infant, but, it is still very good.
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