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The Kid with a Bike (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
The Criterion Collection
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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.
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The Kid with a Bike is not an action movie. However, it deeply makes you realize the impact parents have on their children when abandoning them. The movie lets viewers see the change in increments, until it culminates with child's brutal realization that he is completely unwanted. I appreciate the psychological plot in this movie. In addition, this movie showed that there is so much more children need to learn in order to survive, besides accepting abandonment. And these are things that only a mentor can teach them.
The plot unfolds with Cyril unable to psychologically cope with abandonment and the love offered by his foster family. This mental crisis is brilliantly played and gut-wrenching to watch. The most emotionally devastating moment of the film is the slow dawning realization of Cyril's total abandonment by his biological father. These scenes are truly powerful.
The Dardenne directors use a conscious minimalism for the film. The adult characters are only sparingly developed, there are only brief instances of music. It creates the feeling that we are experiencing the world through Cyril's understanding.
The Criterion Collection edition features:
---New 2K digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Alain Marcoen, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
---New conversation between film critic Kent Jones and directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
---Interview with actor Cécile de France
---New interview with actor Thomas Doret
---Return to Seraing, a half-hour documentary in which the Dardennes revisit five locations from the film
---PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoff Andrew
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