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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
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #646. 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 »
DDT01 et DDT02
Written by SRG
Performed by SRG See more »
A future classic
"Not everyone can be an orphan." Andre Gide
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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