Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Belgium/France, 2005. Les Films Du Fleuve, Archipel 33, Radio Television Belge Francophone, Arte France Cinema, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Eurimages, Loterie Nationale de Belgique, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Wallimage, SCOPE Invest, Scope Pictures. Screenplay by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne. Cinematography by Alain Marcoen. Produced by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd. Production Design by Igor Gabriel. Costume Design by Monic Parelle. Film Editing by Marie-Helene Dozo. Cannes Film Festival 2005. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
More magically compelling social realism from the Dardennes brothers, once again featuring their stalwart cast member Jérémie Renier as a not too impressive petty thief with a girlfriend who has just given birth. Deciding for the both of them that the baby is a burden and would be far better off with another family, Regnier sells it to an underground adoption ring and inspires horror in the child’s mother. Overwhelmed by conscience, he decides to get the baby back but the consequences are severe. The filmmakers do a terrific job of setting a very melodramatic story within an incredibly realistic context, harsh and unsentimental but at the same time very humane and sympathetic.