The Kid with a Bike (2011)

53.

★★★★★

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Written by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Starring: Thomas Doret, Cécile De France and Jérémie Renier

It is hard to expect anything less than a five star movie from the Dardenne brothers. Across their collection of works, the Dardennes have shown a keen knowledge of how human conflict and character motivations can tell a story that is simple yet deeply affecting and significant.

Bright new talent

Their latest The Kid with a Bike follows the journey of an eleven year old boy, Cyril (Thomas Doret), who goes to great lengths to be with his father – a man who feels he is financially and emotionally incapable of raising the child. Spending his weekends under the foster care of a local hairdresser called Samantha, Cyril begins to discover life away from the care center where his father left him. The change of scenery, however, isn’t enough to settle Cyril’s unstable behavior, and his yearning desire to be with his father.

While the plot may not excite those who are unfamiliar with the Dardennes, the magnetic force of young Thomas Doret’s performance is enough to keep audiences hooked within the first twenty minutes of the film. Fighting off his counselors to find out where his father is, Cyril’s urgency, desperation and sheer tenacity of young actor Thomas Doret is engrossing. As The Kid with a Bike progresses, and more of Cyril’s circumstances are revealed, the talent and touch of the Dardenne brothers become increasingly apparent. Subtle, effective and deeply moving, The Kid with a Bike is a classic Dardenne brothers’ film worth catching.

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