The Kid with a Bike

The Kid with a Bike

Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children’s home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn’t recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage. 3.8 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
The Kid with a Bike

Omniscore:

Certificate 12A
Genre Drama
Director Luc Dardenne Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Cast Thomas Doret, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Egon Di Mateo, Olivier Gourmet Cécile De France
Studio Artificial Eye
Release Date March 2012
Running Time 87 mins
 

Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children’s home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn’t recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage.

Reviews

Time Out

Dave Calhoun

The innocence of children and their capacity for good in a corrupting adult world are interests to which the Dardennes keep returning, and they are embraced incredibly movingly here, especially in the film’s tense final minutes ... The Dardennes finally afford huge dignity and strength to Cyril. They also leave us with a big-hearted film far more complex than its brisk simplicity may at first suggest.

20/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

he Dardennes' new film, The Kid With the Bike, reveals them at their best and as they really are – superbly economical storytellers who happen to work, with precise craftsmanship, using dramatic materials that their local terrain provides.

25/03/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

A poignant celebration of youthful tenacity in the face of adversity, as well as an unshowy tribute to the value of doing the right thing.

22/03/2012

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Scotland on Sunday

Scotland on Sunday

The Dardennes are fascinated by those with unloved, unattended lives. Their central characters are flawed, and often do awful things, but the Dardennnes’ world view is entirely practical. If they repent, their reward isn’t so much spiritual as access to a useful set of new possibilities. Nor do they make a saviour’s lot look attractive in their films.

18/03/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

Cyril’s agony is awful to watch as he tears himself apart, but the film lays it on heavily every time things go wrong with a phrase from Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 5, as though we needed the pain officially signalled.

23/03/2012

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Total Film

Jamie Graham

It’s the brothers on home turf, but it’s also their brightest film to date. A careful optimism informs the action, while the summer setting allows for atypically warm and colourful photography, with, at times, a fairytale lilt to the social-realism.

12/03/2012

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Empire Magazine

Ian Freer

This is the Dardennes’ Kes, a realistic, unsentimental take on childhood. Eleven year-old Cyril is one of cinema’s great JDs, a feral kid in care refusing to be tamed. For 20-odd minutes we follow Cyril on his quest to find his absconded father and thus his bike. Little of consequence happens, but almost by stealth we realise we are caught up in Cyril’s world.

19/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Has some of the tangled, schematic, involving fascination of a board game: one traversed by real people but presenting us with a world that bit more fabulous, more colourful, more conspiratorial in its imaginative interaction between maker and players.

22/03/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

A heartfelt, boldly direct film composed in the social-realist key signature of C major, revisiting the film-makers' classic themes of parenthood, trust and love.

22/03/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

There are always touches of Christian hope and Bressonian redemption in a Dardenne film, and along the way, in what seems an act of providence, Cyril finds a loving protector in the form of Samantha, a hairdresser ... The ending is somewhat contrived and forced, but not false, and there's a moving moment when Cyril and Samantha, riding beside a canal one sunny day, exchange bicycles.

25/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

Dardenne heroes are crafty and restless, down but not out, and Cyril ought to be one of their best. For whatever reason, he isn’t, quite. Doret has a pugnaciously expressive face that doesn’t beg too hard for our love, but he still feels overly directed; the character’s behaviour ... emanates in some obscure way from the men behind the camera, and not from inside himself.

22/03/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

The key to the brothers' film-making is restraint: in the encounter between Cyril and his dad, when he finally faces the truth of his parent's neglect, no voices are raised, no music is played. There's no need, because we are listening to the sound of a heart being broken.

23/03/2012

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

It employs a predominantly handheld camera, which stalks the actors so doggedly that the cinematographer risks incurring a restraining order ... [The Dardennes's] work is as formulaic in its way as any Michael Bay IQ-killer. Doubly so in the case of The Kid with a Bike, which follows a narrative template that has been road-tested in everything from Dickens to Loach's Sweet Sixteen.

22/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

You’d have to be pretty heartless not to be moved by this tale from the Dardenne brothers, and Doret is outstanding as Cyril. Essentially, however, this has the simplistic, formulaic view of a social worker’s case study.

25/03/2012

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