This movie by the Dardennes brothers left me totally indifferent. We know men are stupid and tend to destroy their happiness, and that makes for some great storytelling. But this boy is taken advantage of, so it's not so much his free will that we are contemplating, so I didn't find it as interesting. Or, is it just about the absence of beauty in this world, except for the odd act of kindness?
Suspend disbelief and your heart will melt. The kid is an incredible actor and has seemingly boundless energy to ride that bike, run, and fight. If only every troubled kid in the real world could have someone like Samantha in his life. Good choice of Brendel tickling the ivories on Ludwig's 5th piano concerto.
Three stars for the performances. I don't know if kids in France are that much better adjusted than here in the US, but (having worked in the system for several years a couple of decades ago), I've never seen any kid be so resilient in the face of such rejection. I'm glad MUBI used the word "fairytale", and I sincerely wish all kids going thru this could so easily find (and accept) a permanent home.
The plot, camerawork, and pacing exquisitely capture the adrenaline, anxiety, and shame of the boy, as he tries to make sense of what is happening in his life. The woman's character is the weak point: she exists purely as a stereotype of the perfect mother figure. Yes, it's great that he happens to grab hold of her, but it would be helpful to know why, as an individual, she is so willing to care for him.
3.5 stars. MUBI's description ("...bright and buoyantly optimistic socially-conscious fairytale") seems misleading and condescending -- this is just as wrenching and unvarnished as the Dardennes' other films. I hope they never stop making movies -- they document the good/bad/ugly of human experience so well, with a clear-eyed view of the cruelty and mercy inherent in life.
The Kid With a Bike moves at brisk pace. Each scene provides a specific poetic or psychological insight into character. Yet this is no self-conscious study. The performers are completely committed, physically and emotionally, to each scene. The camera lingers on faces, giving the audience ample time to read the nuances of character. It is a rare work of art that brings an audience to an imaginative state of grace.
This film brings the audience along the heart-breaking and touching journey a young boy. The beautiful thing about this short film is that it illustrates the transformation of a child from immature and angry at the world to responsible and kind. He goes from running away to find his dad who wants nothing to do with him and stealing money from strangers to accepting the guardian he has and loving her immensely.
It is no surprise this film won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival. Cyril, a 12-year-old boy is abandoned by his father. His father sent him to a home for 30 days. After 30 days, Cyril escapes the home and returns home in hopes to find his father. He finds himself on an emotional roller coaster until a local hairdresser takes him in and helps him to learn the true about abandonment and unconditional love.
A troublesome childhood can lead to dark roads but with the right guidance and good caring even a young confused mind can overcome rejection, the feeling being unwanted even by your own parents. From this hard, unfair situation the Dardenne brothers beautiful crafted a honest movie with pure emotion, another character study of broken souls. Happily the end is a positive one and we learn about acceptance. 8/10
“Le Gamin” feels to me like a mirror image of de Sica’s “Bicycle Thieves”. In de Sica’s movie the father commits a petty crime to help his family; in Dardennes’ film the son, abandoned by his father, does something more serious while searching for acceptance and a place to belong to. Both films are uncompromising cinema, realism rooted in the disruptions of everyday life.
The kid’s objective is one simple thing; to find approval/love, and is willing to risk anything in order to get it. But like in the real world, you can’t force love and sometimes looking in the wrong places leads to consequences. There’s a sense of full growth within the film, and the Dardenne brothers truly mastered the art of playing into audience’s expectations and taking the opposite direction.