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The Kid with a Bike


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#1 Overstreet

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 11:09 AM

Coming to Cannes 2011:
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Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children’s home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn’t recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage…


Edited by Overstreet, 29 October 2011 - 06:16 PM.


#2 Tyler

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 11:47 AM

By the way, IMDB has this listed as "Set Me Free."

#3 Nathan Douglas

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 01:19 PM

French trailer (no subtitles).

#4 John

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 01:55 PM

That trailer is magnificent. I really like the way they Jeremie Renier has grown with them over the years.

#5 David Smedberg

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 09:13 AM

Does this is a love story. Do they love each finally? I hope the ending is not so sad!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, tasty
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#6 Thom Wade

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 01:19 PM

I gotta admit...that title sounds like some direct to video film you would find in the family section of the video store. If we still had video stores. :)

#7 Brian D

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:46 AM

I gotta admit...that title sounds like some direct to video film you would find in the family section of the video store. If we still had video stores. :)


If they had used "boy" instead of "kid", it might not have felt that way. Then again, maybe "kid" is closer to a slang feeling they wanted in the title. My French is pretty rusty, though.

That brings up the issue of how translation affects our response to a foreign language film. An interesting example of translation choice perhaps being harmful to a film: In Andrei Rublev, the Russian title that comes on the screen at the start of one of the segments is translated "Charity". However, my Russian (better than my French) tells me that the most common translation of that particular word is "Love". The title "Love" obviously has more impact on the viewer than "Charity", and I would guess that Tarkovsky intended the former.

#8 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:56 PM

The movie's original title is apparently Le gamin au vélo, and Babelfish, at least, translates "gamin" as "kid". I do know that the usual French word for "boy" is "garçon".

BTW, is this film called The Kid with *the* Bike or The Kid with *a* Bike? It seems to depend on which website you check.

#9 Overstreet

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 12:18 PM

Jeffrey Wells, classy as always:

I'm saying right now that I'm not especially looking forward to Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne's The Kid With The Bike, which is playing in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. For one thing I don't like movies about red-haired kids with high-pitched voices who wear red T-shirts. I don't much care for movies about kids, period. I once had a place in my heart for this kind of thing but no longer. Especially with kids like this in the lead. I'm just being honest.

I have news for all young kids dealing with absent or abusive parents. Life is hard so you may as well grim up and deal with it and stop trying to make me empathize with your plight. I can tell you stories about my own messed-up childhood that'll tear your heart out.



#10 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:44 AM

Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey Wells and possibly others are calling this film "minor" Dardennes. Though D'Angelo -- who technically called the film "really minor" -- went on to qualify that by saying, "Upon reflection, not sure "minor"s le mot juste. LORNA felt to me like a tentative step in a new direction. This feels like a retread."

#11 Overstreet

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 12:53 PM

It's just won Le Grand Prix at Cannes, in a tie with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.

#12 Overstreet

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:20 PM

House Next Door:

Astoundingly unsentimental yet consistently heart-squeezing.



#13 Tyler

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:49 PM

House Next Door:

Astoundingly unsentimental yet consistently heart-squeezing.


In other words, it's a Dardenne movie.

#14 Overstreet

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:31 PM

Ken Morefield's review.

#15 Darren H

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:09 AM

The frustrating thing about Dardenne films is that they're consistently brilliant and consistently consistent, which makes them difficult to write about. This one is closest in spirit to Rosetta in that you're dealing with a young, obsessively-determined protagonist (one friend joked that Rosetta could've been called The Kid with the Waffle Stand).

My favorite thing about the Dardennes is the way they tell their stories through the bodies of their actors. I recently rewatched The Son for the first time in several years and marveled again at how much emotion they can derive from the back of Olivier Gourmet's head and shoulders. The Kid with the Bike works the same way. I'm convinced the lead actor must never have seen another movie or TV show, because he's so natural and present. When he runs, he's all forward momentum and elbows -- desperation personified.

#16 Overstreet

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:22 PM

Pete Hammond, surveying the Best Foreign Film Oscar contenders, says:

I am a bit surprised to see Belgium select Bullhead over their Cannes prize winner The Kid With A Bike from the highly respected Dardenne Brothers and also over Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight grand prize winner , the brilliant coming-of-age story Les Geants.



#17 Overstreet

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 12:29 PM

Jonathan Rosenbaum:

The Kid with a Bike has its own version of the complexity of the modern world, but its grasp of simple narrative exposition is so masterful that it doesn’t pause long enough during its spare 87 minutes to underline or boast about it. Although it eventually evolves into a crime thriller of sorts, and one with violence that is every bit as shocking in its own way as what one finds in Drive, its art-movie trappings are fairly minimal. Apart from an unnecessary and lamentable belt-and-suspenders strategy to inject brief orchestral passages from Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto at periodic intervals to foster a sense of gravity that is already fully apparent, the Dardenne brothers’ parable about an 11-year-old boy learning how to cope with being abandoned by his only parent is utterly free of sentimentality, complacency, or rhetoric. It doesn’t even bother to make its young hero especially likable. But as storytelling that is both streamlined and nuanced, I think it deserves to stand alongside Lang and Hawks rather than next to any of the arthouse blowhards cited above. This is the only film I’ve attended so far at the Chicago International Film Festival, and it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen all year –- and quite possibly the best thing by the Dardennes since Rosetta.



#18 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 12:31 PM

FWIW, I'm seeing this Friday night. If anyone else is in the area that night and watches to catch it too, let me know.

#19 Darrel Manson

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 10:36 AM

I've struggled with Dardenne(s) films, but this one I connect to much better than the others.

Something minor about this thread, the English film title is The Kid with a Bike.

Edited by Darrel Manson, 29 October 2011 - 10:37 AM.


#20 Darren H

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:23 PM

This morning I showed my daughter her first film, The Red Balloon (1957). I hadn't seen it for years and, so, wasn't at all expecting to be constantly reminded of The Kid with the Bike. When I stepped out of the screening in Toronto last month, I told a friend, "Only the Dardennes could wreck me with a red sweater." So much of the emotion in that film, as in The Red Balloon, is generated graphically -- a dancing spot of red against a grey backdrop. It's a kind of avant-garde op-art, really. Combine that with the kid's desperate performance and the beautiful, unexplained grace of the foster mother, and you've got an explosive combination. So glad you enjoyed it, Darrel.