The Kid with a Bike

The Kid with a Bike ★★★★½

Phew, that hits like a ton of bricks. I’m only sometimes a sucker for kids gone wrong movies; this was one of those times. I think the factor that tilts the scales is the way the Dardenne brothers marry their powerful social realism with a fairly classic mystery (in act one) and a skilled thriller (in act two). It provides tension to match the tragedy. Act three is just a deeply empathic character study, but by that time it wasn’t like I was going to look away.

I don’t want to step on the end. I think I can safely say that the story is about the potential for Cyril’s redemption, and no accident could get in the way of that. 

Cyril is a remarkable performance from Thomas Doret. He is at the center of the screen for almost the whole movie, and always at the center of the moment. He carries it. Cécile de France is equally strong as Samantha, but she had rather more experience acting. There’s a moment — one of the few without Cyril — when she has to accept the possibility of failing him. It’s one of the moments when I teared up.

And this is an average effort for the Dardennes? Fuck me.

Block or Report

Bryant liked these reviews