NOTE: Tag lists and movie reviews with "30 countries" so we can see them all together. Here is the link…
Bruno and Sonia, a young couple living off her benefit and the thefts committed by his gang, have a new source of money: their newborn son.
More than anything else, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's L'Enfant highlights the subtle difference between a moral movie and a moralizing one. The action of this film is predicated entirely upon the moral (or amoral) choices of its characters, but the filmmakers are so careful not to interject their own commentary or to make any larger statements about human nature that the result is something far more powerful and profound than condescendingly saying "X is good, Y is bad." The Dardennes simply point the camera at their story and say "this is what it is."
It tells the story of Bruno, a callous and immature petty thief who exists at the very bottom of Belgian society. We first see him through…
Part of Lise and Jonnie’s What A Wonderful World: May 30 days, 30 countries.
I think I have a particular allergy to the Dardanne Brothers.
I dropped into this morning’s screening of the Palm D’Or winning L’Enfant oblivious to the fact that it was a Dardanne. I saw the critical darling Kid with a Bike a few years ago at TIFF and pretty much hated it.
As L’Enfant unfolded, I began to feel that same revulsion. I was well rested, not in a bad mood, just open to what was unfolding but I HATED the titular Enfant Terrible Bruno. Now, I’m sure wiser film lovers would say ‘that’s the point’. Well, not for me. The opening few scenes of his…
[Originally published by Las Vegas Weekly.]
Even if you were to watch L'Enfant (The Child) with the sound turned off and the subtitles removed, you'd quickly realize that there's no conceivable way it could have been made in America. It's not that the characters come across as stereotypically European—neither Bruno (Jérémie Renier), the young, towheaded petty thief at its center, nor Sonia (Déborah François), his moon- and whey-faced girlfriend, spends any time sipping espressos in sidewalk cafés, both of them being too preoccupied with moment-to-moment survival. Nor does the small, dingy factory town of Seraing, where Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (La Promesse, Rosetta, The Son) invariably shoot, look all that different from, say, the crummier sections of…
L'enfant is more than a movie following a lowlife couple with a newborn child, it's a character study about someone buried in the fringe of society and how they can seek redemption despite terrible and amoral decisions.
Bruno is an irresponsible petty thief who just had a child with another carefree outcast, Sonia. We watch how Bruno's actions take him through a road of self-destruction, but curiously he seems to do everything without malice, even if he actually didn't think he was doing something bad.
The camerawork and the lack of soundtrack make it much more realistic, we really feel we're integrated in their world.
It's definitely an interesting movie.
Character study of a pair of fuckwits and what the said fuckwits do when they produce a babbie.
An awful downward spiral as the male fuckwit digs himself deeper and deeper into an already shitty life.
Saying that he does come out with the statement that going to work is for fuckers. Makes me feel like a fucker when I go to work so he can't be that much of a twerp as I originally thought.
Maybe he's a genius?
I have never been so emotionally involved in a film as I was with L'Enfant. While I watched the film, I screamed at the screen and also cried, which is uncharacteristic of me. Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne have made a very special and emotional film.
The story is about a young, unmarried couple who have a baby boy. Bruno (the father of the baby) is a petty thief who is irresponsible when it comes to managing his life and respecting relationships. He has no true regard and respect for anyone, including Sonia (the mother of his child) and their baby. He loves Sonia, but he is incapable of understanding how one behaves in an adult relationship.
For the first time ever during a Dardenne film, I just felt wearied--so ensconced in the miserable and degrading lives of our characters, I just wanted out. I was intellectually aware of what it was trying to do (hello bookending it with the characters *literally* moving upward), but that was overshadowed by the profound disgust I felt trying to process this.
It's a coward's review, but I'm sticking with it. My wife is 8 months pregnant with our first child; I'd rather films like this did not exist.
Raw and brilliant drama.
I wasn't entirely clear on if I accepted a certain third act turn the first time I watched it, and as I watched it again already knowing the events I now find that to be very earned. It's a movie that follows a completely amoral character (not immoral though) which can be shaky, but the Dardennes neither protect him from the mess he created nor play god and punish him for it. It's as humane as it is realist, and theirs is an approach to storytelling that I'm quickly realizing is among my favorites.
Mag ik eens een film aanraden? Deze.
Apparently when I'm depressed all I watch is French cinema.
I think I've maybe had enough gritty social realism for a while.
Another stunner from the Dardennes, and, in my opinion, more deserving of its Palme D'Or than their earlier winner, *Rosetta*. The real accomplishment of *The Child* is its stylised realism. Where someone like Ceylan frames his shot and leaves the camera stationary – fly on a wall style – the Dardennes take a more active, documentary style approach, following their subject around. Ceylan tends to deal with intellectuals talking or silently feeling sorry for themselves, but the Dardennes need more mobile camera work to capture the feeling of people whose lives consist more in action than conversations or reflection. It's toned down a bit from *The Son*, but the camera hardly leaves the main character, Bruno, bringing someone at the…
How young is too young to be a parent? The belgian Dardenne-brothers examines some important topics in their 2005 picture. With help from a historical way of filmmaking the Dardennes does some great teaching with L'Enfant.
That actual title (The Child in english) raises a fairly interesting element. With its help the Dardennes asks the question about who's the real child in this movie? The most obvious would of course be the actual baby, which plays a big role as a vital plot element. The real question however, is if these characters are mature and established enough to be parents. Bruno, the father, is the most obvious part. He obviously doesn't care about the baby, and doesn't even have a…
Beautifully made and immaculately acted, but I kind of feel like I'm not buying it. Too much of it betrays its own internal logic.
I can't see the hoods who bought his infant just returning it at a vague threat.
Also, his redemption at the end seems completely anathema to the character. I don't believe that person would have been able to realize that what he'd done was wrong and show actual remorse for his actions.
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After recently being more exposed to some incredible foreign films, I am keen to see more. I have seen many…