Quiet, deeply affecting and lyrical filmmaking is what Belgian brothers Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne do best. Like ROSETTA (1999), and THE SON (2002), which also deal with childhood, their latest film, THE KID WITH A BIKE, truly exemplifies their craft and is a very exciting addition to the Violet Crown Cinema lineup.
After his father places him in a home for abandoned children, 11-year-old Cyril clings to his bike, the only thing that holds any significance for him, and Samantha, a hairdresser who is the only person who has been honest with him. The bulk of the film takes place on the weekends that Cyril spends with Samantha who does her best to make him feel cared for. As with every Dardenne film, things do not stay simple for long and as if by accident, Cyril becomes involved in a violent crime. However, THE KID WITH A BIKE is remarkably hopeful and without any pretense or unnatural moments.
If the story of THE KID WITH A BIKE is moving, the aesthetics of the film are powerful enough to match it. Full of the Dardennes famous following shots, the camera keeps you with the characters as they move forward throughout the film, never revealing anything that the characters themselves don’t know. The freedom expressed in Cyril riding is bike in a furry to escape his present situation is gorgeously captured. It plays a huge role in making the film feel incredibly natural and affecting. If you take as much pleasure in seeing a stunning piece of work executed by people who are masters of their craft as I do, you are not going to want to miss THE KID WITH A BIKE. Tickets are now on sale.