The Kid With a Bike

"Excellent"

The Kid With a Bike Review


A striking central performance and the Dardennes' usual intimate filmmaking bring this simple story to vivid life in ways that are moving and sometimes gasp-inducing. It's a striking film with a real kick in its tale.

Cyril (Doret) is an angry tornado of a boy who lives in a care home with no idea where his father has moved. In a fit of desperation, he goes in search of his beloved bike, which is found by a neighbour, Samantha (De France). Her kindness strikes a chord with Cyril, and he starts visiting her for weekends.

She also helps him find his father (Renier), who can't cope with the responsibilities of fatherhood. But Cyril then turns to a local thug (Di Mateo), who teaches him how to rob a local businessman.

As usual, the Dardennes focus tightly on their central character, encouraging unusually natural acting while delivering a reverse riff on the classic The Bicycle Thief. They also once again discover an amazing raw talent in Doret, who delivers a complex, full-bodied performance as the almost feral Cyril. Like Samantha, we never know what he'll do next. And the filmmakers peel away his disinterested bravado to reveal a troubled, sad life that's clearly heading for a nasty end unless someone can help him make better decisions.

The film's focus is so strong that the rest of the cast almost doesn't register, which echoes the way Cyril virtually ignores them. De France brings layers of tough honesty to Samantha, who continually confounds Cyril with her compassion. Renier is terrific in a small role as his terrified young dad, echoing his 2005 role in the Dardennes' The Child. And Di Mateo gives his character a magnetic presence that makes him hugely attractive even though we know he's up to no good.

Nothing is easy in this story, and the Dardennes head into some very dark places. The concentrated intimacy keeps us griped while also making this realistic, urgent film sometimes hard to watch. But we continue to root for Cyril, even when we start to feel the grinding gears of the plot. This makes the film feel a bit too pointed, but it also makes what happens both heart-stopping and thoroughly engaging.



The Kid With a Bike

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 18th May 2011

Box Office USA: $1.4M

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: Les Films Du Fleuve, Archipel 35, Lucky Red, France 2 Cinéma, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), Belgacom TV, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Eurimages, Canal+, CinéCinéma, France Télévision, Région Wallone, Le Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique, Taxshelter. be, Inver Invest, Casa Kafka Pictures, Dexia, Making Of, Soficinéma 7, Programme MEDIA de la Communauté Européenne, Wild Bunch

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 114 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Guy, as Samantha, Thomas Doret as Cyril, as Le libraire, as Patron du bar, Egon Di Mateo as Wes, Batiste Sornin as Educateur 1, Samuel De Rijk as Educateur 2

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.