Review this movie
Apr 23, 2012This review contains spoilers. We never find out what happened to Cyril's mother but we do know his father doesn't want him and also sold his bike which Cyril gets back along with the foster mother he finds in a doctor's office. It only takes the first 20 minutes of this 88 minute film to find that out along with the fact that he lives in a foster home. Along with watching Cyril ride his bike at all kinds of speeds in all kinds of directions plus very intrusive bars of Beethoven we watch him become involved with all sorts of situations that in an American film would have sent "The Kid With A Bike" in a completely different direction than this French film goes.
When Samantha, played by Cecile de France, the woman who becomes Cyril's (Thomas Doret) weekend foster mom, is asked by her boyfriend to choose between him and Cyril she chooses the latter. Cyril is befriended by Wes (Egon de Mateo) a drug dealer and thief who comes from the same foster home who seems to be leading Cyril in an additional direction besides becoming a robber.
Will Samantha make everything right? Will she love, hold on to, Cyril enough to turn him away from he life Wes seems to be taking him? Will Cyril get his father back? Will get on his bike and go in the right direction? That last question isn't as crazy as it sounds because a lot is not explained in this film including who Cyril is and what he wants or needs except his father and bike.
Cecile de France gives a warm performance who slowly brings the boy into a circle of love while Thomas Doret goes through the film mainly looking angry. Jeremie Renier has the small but tough role of a man who feels he has no choice but to give his son up. Egon de Mateo is scary as the drug dealer who leads Cyril astray and into a tough spot.
The co-directors, and co-writers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne didn't seem, to me, to know what to do except give Doret more reasons not to be loved and, yet, let him be loved more and more while whenever they didn't know what to do they put him on a bike and had him ride around. I just finished reading the New York Times review which brings a whole religious aspect to it. I very seldom ever read reviews before I see a film and after reading these reviews I wonder if I saw the same film, did all the themes go over my head or did I just not get it?… Collapse
Leery filmgoers can exhale: The Kid With a Bike may hew faithfully to the Dardennes' house style of spare, lucid storytelling. But without giving anything away, let's just say that with this simple, deeply affecting tale, they never set out to break your heart.