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 »
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.
Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit undocumented immigrants. When one of the immigrants is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.
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
Based on the idea of a film about "a woman who helps a boy emerge from the violence that holds him prisoner" by Dardenne Brothers. See more »
When the hairdresser is leaving the orphanage after she returned Cyrill's bike the car she is 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 »
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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