The Kid with a Bike won the Grand Prix at Cannes 2011. It’s now playing at these theaters.
Creating his own luck
Cyril lives in a state-run boys’ home. Cunning and angry, he flees at every opportunity. He’s determined to find his father (Jeremie Renier), who left no forwarding address. Ready to forgive, Cyril questions anyone who may have last seen him.
Doret’s performance reveals a sensitive, stirring insistence on loyalty and truth. Boiling with conflicting emotions, he’s a kid on the verge of falling into crime.
Love and redemption
Cecile de France plays Samantha, a single hairdresser who does a good deed. After Cyril crashes into her in a doctor’s waiting room, she hears his story. It seems the father sold Cyril’s bike and disappeared.
Samantha buys the bike and returns it to Cyril. De France is radiant in her ordinariness, and excels during several plot twists.
Cyril swoops, circles and balances on one wheel. Although he must answer to adults, he’s determined and free. He follows his truth and breaks rules if they prevent him from doing what he thinks is right.
Showing great survival instincts, Cyril asks Samantha if she would offer him a foster home on weekends.
You’ll cringe as Cyril walks the wild side, especially when a local drug dealer Wes (Egon Di Mateo) takes an interest in the lonely 11-year-old.
When Cyril agrees to carry out a robbery for Wes, the deed becomes initiatory, a poignant rite of passage. Cyril embraces danger in a way that vividly recalls youthful risks.
Ordinary and extraordinary
The Dardenne brothers (L’Enfant) portray ordinary characters facing terrific challenges. They achieve deep meaning in every scene, treating you to many delights and a powerful ending.
It’s thrilling to watch Alain Marcoen’s cinematography. As Cyril bikes over the rapids of a darkening street, Marcoen’s camera flows alongside him for long seconds.
It’s an eternity of a childhood moment, letting you savor those endless days. (5 out of 5 stars)
If you like The Kid with a Bike, you might enjoy: In a Better World.
The Kid with a Bike / 2011 / PG-13 / 1 hour, 27 min
Cast Overview: Cécile de France, Thomas Doret, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Egon Di Mateo
Directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Language: French with English subtitles