Bill I’s Review – 4 out of 5
First what this film is not: it’s not for those who want a Hollywood movie, with big action, romance, special effects, quick editing, leading men, cute kids, alien flying a bike, predictable story, heart on its sleeve, set up for a sequel or prequel, Anglelina Jolie or Sandra Bullock hero mom, people who want an “uplifting movie”, who don’t like sub-titles, or who need clear-cut good guys vs. bad guys. It’s in French, and an American remake will probably be schmaltzy, but as it is it’s pretty darn good. The 11 year-old boy whose father abandons him is determined to find both his dad and his bike, only one of which does him any good. He picks a foster mom based on proximity, and internalizes the unfairness of his life. Were Charles Dickens alive today he would have written this screenplay. Thomas Doret is amazing as Cyril (aka Pitbull), and Cecile de France is perfect as the good hearted but direct foster mom. It’s not depressing, rather realistic and with not a false “acting” character in sight, truly inspiring in its message of love and finding family where you can. Take off one evening, miss that episode of CSI or Two and a Half Men, and check this out.
Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5
This is a very good movie about kindness, resilience and hope. This movie avoids being overly sentimental about this kid who is headed toward juvenile delinquency after his father deserts him and sells his bike. That’s the right approach for this movie to take as you still get to care about the characters without it being, as Bill points out, schmaltzy. At points this movie is tough to watch as Cyril makes some bad decisions but it’s worth sticking with as Cyril deals with his anger and sense of abandonment. The kid gives an excellent performance and is an excellent bike rider 🙂 . While this film is in French and has subtitles, there is not a ton of dialogue so don’t skip it just because of that. The Kid with a Bike is definitely worth seeing.
P.S. Our recent entry on Jeff, Who Lives At Home talked about some of the best brothers that are directing/producing movies. We missed the makers of this film, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. They have been very successful movie makers from Belgium for over 30 years. This week was also the debut of The Three Stooges made by brothers we did discuss – The Farrelly Brothers – and of course Curly and Moe Howard were brothers. This movie got mixed reviews. Did anyone get to see it?