the dardennes are making movies like no one else right now: without flashbacks, slo-mos, montages, fades, dissolves or even a score. their movies start and immediately grab me by the throat, the heart. before i know it, the screen cuts to black and the credits appear. only then do i realize i have been holding my breath and not had a chance to even blink since the movie began. in their movies, jérémie renier, olivier gourmet and every actor they’ve used give the performances of their lives. renier (not to be confused with jeremy renner, the guy in hurt locker) in particular is a force of nature, a description thrown around willy-nilly nowadays, but in my mind only rarely deserved or accurate (i can think of brando in streetcar, dean in eden, de niro in mean streets, pacino in dog day afternoon, duvall in the apostle, van houten in black book, lemmon in glengarry, hackman in tenenbaums, wilson in bottle rocket, but not many more). it is visceral film-making, to be sure, but at the bottom of their tough stories, settings and characters is a wise and loving view of the world, of humanity in all its imperfect, complicated glory.