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

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

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.