Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Who needs a budget when you can make great films like this?

  • Print

IF true art is achieving profound results with economy of means, there may be no finer artists in film than brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Their beautifully observed, scrupulously realistic dramas distil the lives of working-class Belgians into experiences that are moving and universal.

With its small cast, minuscule budget and compressed story, The Kid With a Bike could have been a minor film. It is a major achievement. The subject is 11-year-old Cyril (Thomas Doret) and the lives he touches on his search for the father who abandoned him to state care.

An emotionally volatile firecracker with more energy than maturity, he bolts from school, literally running into a potential guardian, Samantha (Cecile De France, Hereafter), a hairdresser. Unmarried, childless, she takes on the troublesome boy as a foster parent and the pair negotiate a sometimes rocky relationship.

The actors are understated, but when the script calls for a thunderous scene, they are up to the challenge. Cyril is a powder keg of misplaced shame and suppressed rage, yearning for his runaway dad; Doret is flawlessly natural in the role. De France, a slightly careworn beauty with the eyes of a Madonna, is luminous as the surrogate mother whose compassion might alter the course of a lost boy's life.

With exacting craftsmanship the Dardennes pare away all but the essentials, telling little while showing everything. The dialogue is spare, but the eloquent silences are beyond gold -- platinum. The film should be required viewing for everyone who has lost faith in the power of random acts of kindness.

-- Tribune News Services

Other voices

Selected excerpts from reviews of The Kid with A Bike:

The Kid With A Bike is, remarkably, about hope -- about the connections people forge when the ones they've been given desert them.

-- Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Young Thomas Doret fills the role with natural sincerity and focus, and not a second that seems contrived.

-- Roger Ebert, }Chicago Sun-Times

A wonderfully human and humane story about one of those lost-and-found children who tend to slip through society's not-so-safe safety nets.

-- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

Compiled by Shane Minkin

Movie review

Kid With a Bike

Directed by Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Cinematheque

PG

87 minutes

Four stars out of five

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2012 D6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gary Lawless & Tim Campbell on the Jets' inconsistency - Jets This Week Oct. 16

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who will you vote for in Wednesday's mayoral race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google