The Kid With a Bike | Chicago Reader

The Kid With a Bike

Rated PG-13 87 minutes 2011

Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne—the French brothers who wrote and directed La Promesse (1996), Rosetta (1999), The Son (2002), L'Enfant (2005), and Lorna's Silence (2008)—often come across as political filmmakers and often tell simple stories about the threshold between childhood and adulthood. The beauty of their films is that these two elements are so seamlessly fused: just as a boy becomes a man when he accepts his responsibility for others, a society becomes great when it accepts its responsibility to the least of its people. In this poignant drama a boy (Thomas Doret) abandoned by his feckless father (Dardenne regular Jeremie Renier) is taken in by a sympathic hairdresser (Cecile De France) but soon falls under the sway of a neighborhood delinquent who wants to exploit him for criminal purposes. The young protagonist yearns for a father figure, but the Dardennes have a surprise for us: their story is resolved not when he finds one, but when he finds it in himself to stand alone. In French with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

Producer: Delphine Tomson, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne and Denis Freyd

Cast: Cécile de France, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Olivier Gourmet, Thomas Doret, Egon Di Mateo, Batiste Sornin, Samuel De Rijk, Carl Jadot, Claudy Delfosse, Jean-Michel Balthazar and Frédéric Dussenne

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