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 »
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.
Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
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 »
When the hairdresser is leaving the orphanage after she returned Cyrill's bike the car she iss driving makes the sound of Diesel engine, but in the next scene with the same car the car sounds like it has a petrol engine. 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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