A really strong story, in this this film morality and human values are questioned. The story is build in the relationship between a lonely and divorced carpentry teacher (who works in a rehabilitation center to juvenile delinquents) and his new student, who is the killer of his only son. Dardenne Brothers are the masters of social realism.
Big use of the camera then suspense at maximum!I couldn't help thinking what was passing in Olivier's mind,if he was just wanting to know better his son's murderer,and what he would do with him.A confusing relation between a father and a boy unknown, initially, that are approached by a trade. What could he do with this boy when he find out the real person that is this apprentice?There is no place for rules there.
Art as a reflection of life. The Dardennes seem to have this magical way of making seemingly simple stories completely and totally riveting. The acting, emotions and visuals are magical, as expected but the one thing about this film, compared to the other two I've seen by them that's very different is the suspense. This film is very suspenseful. Personally I loved it. Favorite film I've seen by them this far.
It's a work of admirable honesty, challenging not particularly because of its overall complexity but because of it's piercing clarity of vision, it doesn't ask for our attention as much as our understanding and empathy, since the moral and emotional ordeal lying at the very heart of the film can be easily overlooked if one fails to acknowledge their likeness in spirit to that of the main character.
The camera work! Boy i'm still out of breath. It's like Olivier Gourmet is bound to explode at any given moment. I love that...but it was all so subtle...I waited 10 years to see this...I did not see it when it first came out, but it was well worth the wait...