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 »
Igor and his father, Roger, are making a decent living renting apartments to illegal immigrants and sometimes working them illegally (among other scams). But when the building inspector ... See full summary »
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 a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.
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 »
A kid with only a bike and no mother or active father---now that's a setup for sentiment. Yet the Dardenne brothers have fashioned an unsentimental, realistic drama, The Kid with a Bike, about an 11 year old boy, Cyril (Thomas Doret), who is fortunately taken in by a guardian, town hairdresser Samantha (Cecile De France), but not without serious setbacks that are understandable given his unstable background.
The title evokes thoughts of the famous Italian neo-realist Bicycle Thief, in which a young boy is introduced to life's hard knocks through an imperfect father. In Kid, the father is a deadbeat deserter whose brief appearances are depressing because it's clear a reconnection with his son is not going to happen.
Cyril is running through most of the film, either by bike or foot, a motif signifying his desperate desire for a parent. However blood does not have to be in the loving equation as Samantha becomes a willing surrogate.
No surprise The Boy with the Bike won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes (2011) and the directors several times before in multiple categories. The humanity rather than the technicality dominates the emotionality; the two principal actors, Doret and De France, are incomparably natural and convincing. Make no mistake, this is a film about a boy, whose character arc the directors fully present. Whether or not he ends up for good through all the turmoil is the pleasure of watching this soon-to-be classic.
You may think again about leaving your child with only his bicycle.
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