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.
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 »
Cyril, a young boy of about 12, is abandoned by his deadbeat father in the care of some sort of group home. He obsessively tries to reunite with his father, and in the process, falls into the hands of a surrogate mother... and a rather shady surrogate father. The Dardennes aren't straying much from their established style, but there's no reason to. Again, we have a highly effective look at people in emotional crisis and in the grips of moral dilemmas. Throughout the film you're questioning your reactions to things (boy, that Cyril seems like an awful little monster at first) or asking "What would I do?" Again, the camera-work is immediate and unfettered by stylistic flourishes, putting you right inside the lives of these characters. Again, the performances are so natural they feel almost documentary. While I don't think Thomas Doret is as powerful a young actor as Emilie Dequenne in ROSETTA or other Dardenne leads, he does win you over after an unsympathetic start. The movie deals with several parallel themes, the most prominent being one of finding love and acceptance where you can, but it doesn't simply hammer on that one and leaves room for other avenues. I'm not sure yet if I would put this among the best of the Dardennes, but it made a strong first impression.
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