L'Enfant (The Child)

L'Enfant (The Child) Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 77 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Dispossessed twenty-year old Bruno lives with his eighteen-year-old girlfriend Sonia in Seraing, an eastern Belgian steel town. They live off Sonia's unemployment benefits and the panhandling and petty theft committed by Bruno and his gang. Their lives change forever when Sonia gives birthDispossessed twenty-year old Bruno lives with his eighteen-year-old girlfriend Sonia in Seraing, an eastern Belgian steel town. They live off Sonia's unemployment benefits and the panhandling and petty theft committed by Bruno and his gang. Their lives change forever when Sonia gives birth to their child, Jimmy. [Sony Pictures Classics] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Whether the title refers to the baby or the thief remains an open question, and the viewer is left to decide whether the theme of redemption should be perceived in Christian terms. This builds to a suspenseful climax, and as in Hitchcock's best work, that suspense is morally inflected.
  2. Powerfully uplifting precisely because it's so horrifying.
  3. 100
    L'Enfant is intended as a pointed critique of pop culture's celebration of arrested adolescence. The title could refer to Renier's baby, Renier himself, or even the gang of schoolboy robbers that he's gathered around himself.
  4. 88
    Doesn't feel so much like a movie as a glimpse into the extraordinarily messed-up life of a young man about to make the simple yet life-changing realization that actions have consequences, and that other people matter, too.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    80
    Those masters of small-scale realism, Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, have created yet another beautifully acted, exquisitely observed morality tale in The Child.
  6. 80
    Tough as it is, L'Enfant nudges both its protagonist and its audience toward unlikely affection. Tough as it is, L'Enfant commands our care by practicing what it preaches. No wonder the brothers call it a love story.
  7. 50
    There is something willed and implausible at the heart of L’Enfant, beginning with the child himself--the first non-crying, non-hungry infant in human history, let alone in cinema.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. TomC.
    Apr 14, 2006
    10
    This movie was a moving experience! Will stay wiith me for quite a while. No doubt who 'The Child' that the title refers to really is!
  2. JoshC
    Jan 4, 2007
    10
    This film goes deep into social crevices without entertainment blandishments (a mellifluous score, the huge acting, the faux-literary This film goes deep into social crevices without entertainment blandishments (a mellifluous score, the huge acting, the faux-literary contortions). Yet still earns a chill of recognition. This movie is a tremendous kind of me-against-the-world picture whose perceptions are life-sized and surprising in their humanness. In L'Enfant, the screenplay isn't making choices for these people; every one of Bruno's bad decisions springs from his poor, desperate judgment. Unlike the maid in Babel, he's a stupid person you can relate to. To that end, its realism is staggering. Expand
  3. Nadie
    Jan 15, 2007
    10
    This movie portrays innocence in the most dramatic way. The acting is flawless and represents young people without education as they are. This movie portrays innocence in the most dramatic way. The acting is flawless and represents young people without education as they are. Very moving and well told. For me, the best movie of the year. Expand
  4. paulh.
    May 9, 2006
    9
    There is so much in this movie its hard to take it all in.Each shot/every scene is carefully compsed-nothing is there by accident & nothing There is so much in this movie its hard to take it all in.Each shot/every scene is carefully compsed-nothing is there by accident & nothing goes to waste.At heart it is a parable comparable with Abbas Kiarostai's 'Taste Of Cherries' with echoes of Crime&punishent and shadows of the directors previous movies.This is cinema as a high art-capturing life in its both its realism and symbolic physical mental and spiritual dimensions. Breath-taking/stimulating/captivating and teder-it is a reminder of what cinema can do-Warning this wont be to everyones taste (especially in America). Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Aug 27, 2006
    8
    Before the incident, these young Parisians act as if they'd be at home in a trailer park if they had the money for a RV. But then the Before the incident, these young Parisians act as if they'd be at home in a trailer park if they had the money for a RV. But then the husband does something unforgivable, and the emotional age of the mother is brought up to speed. What was plural(in reference to the characters' demeanor), now becomes singular, and the dual meaning behind the film's title is unveiled. "L'Enfant" is a story about arrested development. Although the docu-drama approach to "Le Fils" is greatly missed(this film is shot more like "La Promesse"), the ambiguity remains, albeit later in the game. In "Le Fils", we're not sure about the carpenter's interest in the young boy, and in "L'Enfant", an act of contrition might indeed be an act of self-interest. "L'Enfant" is a very good film, but it's not the equivalent of "Le Fils" and "Rosetta". Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jul 8, 2006
    8
    Showing the underbelly of Belgium in all it's bleakness.
  7. RudyC.
    Apr 8, 2006
    4
    Quite boring, not an ounce of music (which makes it awful for me cause I think much of a movie from the music) and, did I not mention, quite Quite boring, not an ounce of music (which makes it awful for me cause I think much of a movie from the music) and, did I not mention, quite boring !! But Jérémie Renier does a really good act! Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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