Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Belgium/France/Italy, 2011. Les Films du Fleuve, Archipel 35, Lucky Red, France 2 Cinéma, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, Belgacom TV, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Eurimages, Canal+, CinéCinéma, France Télévision, , Le Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique, Taxshelter. be, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Inver Invest, Casa Kafka Pictures, Dexia, Making Of, Soficinéma 7, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Wild Bunch. 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 Maira Ramedhan Levi. Film Editing by Marie-Helene Dozo. Podcast: My Criterions. Academy Awards 2011. Cannes Film Festival 2011. Golden Globe Awards 2011. Independent Spirit Awards 2011. National Board of Review Awards 2012. Toronto International Film Festival 2011.
The Dardenne brothers make their most perfect film yet with this captivating, moving account of love and family that springs out of a moment of spontaneous generosity. Young Cyril lives at a boys’ boarding school and refuses to believe it when he is told that his father (Jérémie Renier) is cutting off all ties with him. He runs away to find him and get his bicycle back, an important symbol of his relationship with his father, and in the scuffle of being recovered during a chase from authorities accidentally grabs hold of the protection of a hairdresser (Cécile De France) whose heart immediately goes out to him. Without fail she becomes the boy’s friend and protector, doing her best to give him shelter from the harshness of his life while also carefully trying to reconnect him with his father despite the fact that she knows the ugly truth. It’s a film whose sorrows never veer towards shameless melodrama, but also possessed of moments of lightness and joy that really make it shine.