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The Kid with a Bike (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Twelve-year-old Cyril (Thomas Doret), all coiled anger and furious motion, is living in a group home but refuses to believe he has been rejected by his single father (Summer Hours’ Jérémie Renier). He spends his days frantically trying to reach the man, over the phone or on his beloved bicycle. It is only the patience and compassion of Samantha (Hereafter’s Cécile de France), the stranger who agrees to care for him, that offers the boy the chance to move on. Spare and unsentimental but deeply imbued with a heart-rending tenderness, The Kid with a Bike is an arresting work from the great Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Rosetta), masters of the empathetic action film.

Special Features

  • New digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Alain Marcoen, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Conversation between film critic Kent Jones and directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
  • Interviews with actors Cécile de France and Thomas Doret
  • Return to Seraing, a half-hour documentary in which the Dardennes revisit five locations from the film
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoff Andrew

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Thomas Doret, Jeremie Renier, Cecile de France
    • Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
    • Language: French
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2013
    • Run Time: 87 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00A8QDHUQ
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,807 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By billy on January 23, 2013
    Format: Blu-ray
    If you're looking for a real and honest portrayal of what it's like to be a child or an adolescent on film, you really have to step outside of the US. There's something about the typical American portrayal of kids that never really reaches for anything profound. Three benchmark examples come to mind of non-American portrayals or youth. The first is Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows, the second is Luis Bunuel's Los Olvidados, and the third is Edward Yang's Yi Yi. THe Dardennes Brothers The Kid With a Bike isn't quite in the league of those films, it's a worthy successor and a fine film in it's own right.

    The film focuses on a child named Cyril, played by Thomas Doret. Cyril has been all but abandoned by his father Guy, who is neither financially or emotionally able to care for Cyril. Cyril is living in what appears to be a group home, and he frequently acts out and tries to contact his father. He's mostly rebuked by his father, but a chance encounter with a hairdresser named Samantha, played by Cecile De France, leads to Samantha all but adopting Cyril. It's not an easy transition for the Cyril, who yearns for his father, or any father figure, and eventually falls in with bad crowd.

    The Kid with the Bike is about the yearning for a father figure. Cyril's actually father Guy completely rejects him. He's either too emotionally immature or financially unstable to support Cyril. It's likely a combination of both. Samantha's boyfriend, on the otherhand, is completely rejected by Cyril. He seems like a pale reflection of a father figure to him. Eventually Cyril finds a surrogate father in Wes, a young hood who recruits young kids to help him in his various criminal endeavors.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 28, 2012
    Format: DVD
    The Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne directed an outstanding movie in 2005 called "The Child" ("L'enfant) which brought widespread critical and in French-speaking Europe also commercial acclaim. Now comes the latest movie from these guys.

    "The Kid With a Bike" (Le Gamin au Velo) (2011 from Belgium; 87 min.) brings the story of 11 yr. old Cyril who lives in a youth center. Cyril cannot accept that his father seemingly has abandoned him, and in the first part of the movie we see Cyril trying to run away to find out where his dad is. It becomes clear that the dad indeed is no longer wanting to be involved in Cyril's life. By happenstance, Cyril meets Samantha, a hairdresser who agrees to become a foster parent just on the weekends. Cyril also befriends Wes, a no-good older kid who talks Cyril into robbing a newspaper carrier. I don't want to spoil the plot any further, you'll just have to see how it all plays out. But suffice to say that there were a number of scenes during which the theatre audience loudly gasped and moaned.

    This movie is another outstanding "slice of life" as brought by the bothers Dardenne. No, there are no major "action" scenes or special effects. Just observing ordinary people in not always ordinary situations. Special mention must go to the young Belgian actor Thomas Doret, who is simply outstanding as Cyril, and also to Cecile de France (who, despite her last name, is also Belgian), in the role of Samantha. Incidentally, the movie was filmed in the Walloon city of Seraing (near Liege), where the brothers Dardenne hail from. "Le Gamin au Velo" made a major splash at the 2011 Cannes film festival, where it won the "Grand PRix". I can't help but notice that this is yet another strong movie from Belgium, on the heels of the Oscar-nominated "Bullhead". If you are in the mood for a good foreign movie, I readily recommend "Le Gamin au Velo".
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay B. Lane TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 8, 2012
    Format: DVD
    "Le gamin au vélo," an unrated drama from Belgium (English subtitles), is about an eleven-year old boy, abandoned by his father at a local youth farm (orphanage). Nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes, it is also winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes (2011), Best Screenwriter at the European Film Awards and Best Director at the Flaiano International Prizes. I noticed in particular how few cuts there were in each scene. Amazing! I will study this more closely when releases the Region 1 version on DVD.

    We watch our determined young protagonist break away from his keepers and set out in quest of his absent father AND his missing bicycle. His quest crosses the path of a town hairdresser who, for some never-disclosed reason, offers to foster him on weekends; an act of kindness she quickly comes to regret. This boy is hurt, defiant, and rebellious. He is convinced his father would never leave him, nor would he take away his bike, so the only way for our little guy to learn this sad lesson is in a face-to-face confrontation.

    This cast is excellent, these two leads in particular:
    * Thomas Doret (impressive in his first role) is Cyril, frightened and bewildered by his father's selfish actions. This kid is always running, pedaling, climbing or fighting. At times he is so irritating I want to shake him!
    * Cécile De France ("Avenue Montaigne") is Samantha, the ultra-patient hairdresser, willing to stand by our little rascal, even when he isn't very lovable. Physically, she is barely strong enough to cope with our wiry rebel.

    As the story unfolds, we in the Seattle International Film Festival audience never move.
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    The Kid with a Bike (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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