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
For both the moments where Cyril is running from the police and ends up in the doctor's office and the opening scene when he's using the phone and won't let go, the young actor was just instructed by the directors not to give up what the character was doing under any circumstance. 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 »
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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